May 29, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Portugal

UEFA Champions Festival Showcases Special Olympics

By Pedro Serra

Athlete Ruben Carreiras said after the demonstration: “For many years I have participated in Special Olympics activities and I never get tired of being able to be with my friends and play in whatever sport or activity with Special Olympics”.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to play in front of so many spectators” said Special Olympics Portugal athlete Ruben Carreiras after he joined 59 other athletes in competing in a four – team mini tournament showcase on Thursday, May 22nd at the impressive UEFA Champions League Festival in Praça do Comércio, Lisbon. For many of the athletes it was their first international experience and an important milestone in their preparations for the 2014 European Games in Antwerp, Belgium and the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles, USA. Then on Saturday, May 24th, the day of the UEFA Champions League, a Special Olympics Unified Sports demonstration match took place composed of athletes with and without intellectual disabilities from the Associação de Moradores da Portela - a proven model for social inclusion. UEFA Is a core partners for Special Olympics under their “Football for All” programme and opportunities like this are vital for promoting inclusion and respect in the game.

About Pedro Serra: I work with UEFA - the European governing body for football.
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