Government and Special Olympics Bosnia & Herzegovina Working Together Through COVID-19

Edna Sunjic is among the athletes of Special Olympics Bosnia and Herzegovina who currently leads a series of training sessions to help motivate her peers across the country. And the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina—a loyal supporter of Special Olympics—is right behind Edna and all athletes, promoting the training sessions on its channels and highlighting the importance of our movement, now more than ever.
Athlete, Edna Sunjic, Leads Training Sessions

Edna Sunjic, a Special Olympics Bosnia and Herzegovina athlete, leading a series of training sessions during COVID-19 Crisis.

Edna is keenly aware of the importance of training to maintain our health and wellbeing during time a quarantine because of COVID-19, and this is one of the reasons why she felt it was vital to lead a Special Olympics Bosnia and Herzegovina session. She says, "We remain healthy and strong through training. It is important for me to send a message to all my friends that they should get involved and do exercises at home, too. In this situation, we need to be patient and motivated to stay healthy."

As soon as the Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina learnt of the series, it was keen to promote the efforts on its channels—after all the Ministry has been a loyal supporter of Special Olympics for 10 years now. Mirela Mandal, a representative of the Ministry, notes, "We continuously follow the work of Special Olympics in Bosnia and Herzegovina and we always support all of their activities. It is very important for the Ministry that all members of the Special Olympics in Bosnia and Herzegovina attend the highest quality programmes […] to integrate them as much as possible into social processes." Crucially, the Ministry understands the importance of highlighting the work of Edna and other athlete leaders in particular during this global crisis. Ms. Mandal continues, "It was of utmost importance for us to draw the public's attention to the efforts of children with intellectual disabilities and their parents. In these difficult times for all of us, they manage to organise themselves with as much quality time as possible, which facilitates the situation they are in. If we think that it is difficult for us and that the measures imposed by the state at this time of the pandemic are unbearable, we should remember that there are persons in our society who are in much more difficult situation but still succeed."

Edna, is the perfect example of an athlete who is feeling the effects of the restrictions but is determined to ultimately focus on the positives within her life—what she can do rather than what she can’t. She says, "The hardest part is that I can't see my friends and schoolmates, and my friends from the club where I train. Also, I don't have many things to do at home so I often get bored. However, I am glad that I have an online school and that I can easily monitor my classes at home and study."

The Special Olympics Bosnia and Herzegovina training series is available here: www.sobih.org

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