The leaders of Special Olympics International and the International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity (IFAPA) signed a memorandum of understanding on 18 September 2010 during the Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia Regional Summer Games in Warsaw, Poland. Signing for Special Olympics was Dr.Timothy Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics, and on behalf of IFAPA, Dr.Yeshayahu Hutzler, President of IFAPA.
The International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity is a cross-disciplinary professional organization of individuals, institutions, and agencies concerned with promotion and dissemination of knowledge and information about adapted physical activity, disability sport, and all other aspects of sport, movement, and exercise science for the benefit of persons with disabilities. It's a good partner for Special Olympics, which is rapidly growing its mission of sports for people worldwide with intellectual disabilities.
The new relationship with IFAPA gives Special Olympics an opportunity to directly educate global leaders about Special Olympics while being provided access to the latest research in sports training methodologies. At the local level, Special Olympics Programs will be able to make use of improved coaching education materials and coach recruitment techniques.
Dr. Hutzler offered to work together with Special Olympics for the benefit of athletes with intellectual disabilities by putting the strength of his organization to work improving Special Olympics' global coaches education and certification program. Establishing worldwide coaching standards would drive recruitment, education, retention and recognition of Special Olympics coaches.
Uniformly better-trained and certified coaches would directly benefit the more than 3 million athletes who are already part of Special Olympics and set the stage for continued strong growth.