Special Olympics Asia Pacific, in partnership with Tottenham Hotspur Foundation (THF), kicked off on 31 August 2016 a four-day training clinic to improve the skills of Special Olympics football coaches across the Asia Pacific region for people with intellectual disabilities (ID).
The groundbreaking training clinic, which took place in Singapore, saw two coaches from THF impart their expertise and knowledge in delivering high quality sports programs for athletes with ID.
A total of 22 coaches from countries such as India, Australia, and Pakistan – including 8 from Singapore – were equipped with specialized knowledge and techniques to engage and provide quality football training to people with ID, as well as expertise in nutrition and fitness.
The clinic is the second of three specially designed training modules – part of Special Olympics Asia Pacific’s Coach Development Program – that aims by the end of 2017, to develop a pool of at least 15 regional Master Trainers who will qualify to train other coaches across the Asia Pacific region for athletes with ID. This program is the first of its kind in Singapore and the region that caters to the sporting needs of people with ID.
“One of the ways the Special Olympics movement transforms the lives of people with ID is through sports, empowering this marginalized group to become contributing members of society,” said Dipak Natali, Special Olympics Asia Pacific’s Director of Organizational Development. “We believe in providing equal sports opportunities to people with ID to develop fit and skillful athletes. Working with leading football clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur helps Special Olympics coaches improve their own performance and provide enhanced levels of coaching to athletes with disabilities.”
In conjunction with the training clinic, a unified football tournament that brought together youth with and without ID on the same team, was held on 3 September.