Russia, May 5th, 2021: All-Russian Special Olympics floorball and unified floorball competitions will take place in Kazan on May, 3 – 7 2021. The tournament will unite over 130 athletes with intellectual disabilities from 9 Russian regions.
Floorball has similarities with hockey sports. It is played in a rink with five field players plus a goalkeeper in each team. Players use plastic sticks and a light ball. The main objective is to score more goals than the opposite team. For Special Olympics the game is slightly modified from the "regular" form of floorball. Matches are played 3 versus 3 with goalkeepers, on a smaller court that measures 20 m long by 12 m wide. This form of floorball was developed for the intellectually disabled, and will be a demonstration sport at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Korea.
The opening ceremony took place on May 4th, 2021. With the support of Coca-Cola Russia, SO Winter Games in Kazan general partner, there was organized a unified floorball match with participation of Special Olympics athletes, famous people and sportsmen from Tatarstan Republic.
“We are delighted to host Special Olympics athletes again in Kazan. Atmosphere of kindness and support turns each competition into a vibrant and heartfelt event that unites people with and without disabilities”.
Andy Buckingham, General Manager of Coca-Cola Russia: “As a founding partner of Special Olympics, Coca-Cola in Russia has been advocating for the development of inclusive sports for many years. We started hosting unified matches in Russia during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow and we are proud to continue this initiative. Sport has a unique unifying force, and unified matches demonstrate that when we are together, everything is possible. Such events contribute to the development of an inclusive society, and this is one of the global goals of The Coca-Cola Company”.
For preventing the spread of coronavirus infection, floorball competitions will be carried out strictly in accordance with the requirements of Rospotrebnadzor, the Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan.
Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan 2022 open on 22 January 2022. More than 2,000 athletes from over 100 countries will have the opportunity to compete in seven sports: alpine skiing, snowboarding, floorball, cross-country skiing, figure skating, short track speed skating and snowshoeing.
About Special Olympics
Founded in 1968, Special Olympics is a global movement to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. We foster acceptance of all people through the power of sport and programming in education, health, and leadership. With more than six million athletes and Unified Sports partners in over 190 countries and territories and more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers more than 30 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions every year. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and our blog on Medium. Learn more at www.SpecialOlympics.org.
About Special Olympics Russia
Special Olympics Russia was founded in 1999 and is one of the largest national programs in the global Special Olympics movement. In Russia, around 130,000 people with intellectual disabilities are involved in physical education and about 5,000 physical culture events of the municipal, regional and all Russian levels are held annually under the Special Olympics Russia program. Currently there are Special Olympics regional offices in 62 regions of Russia. Russian athletes with intellectual disabilities take part in international tournaments annually in the Special Olympics Russia program with athletes occupying various leadership positions.
Special Olympics provides sports training throughout the year in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Training of future Special Olympics participants has already started around Russia. Russian athletes with intellectual disabilities can join a team in their region on the website: https://specialolympics.ru/programs