Grammy-winning Songwriter, Erika Ender, Brings Athletes and Students Together to Play Unified

Erick Ender with Special Olympics Panama athletes and representatives in a group.

Special Olympics Global Ambassador and renowned singer-songwriter Erika Ender took part in fun afternoon of Special Olympics Unified Sports with athletes from Special Olympics Panama and youth participants of the TalenPro Project. Students with and without intellectual disabilities played volleyball and basketball together, demonstrating the joy of sports and the power of inclusion.

Unified Sports, an inclusive sports program that unites Special Olympics athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and Unified partners (individuals without intellectual disabilities) as teammates, has been growing steadily in the Latin America Region, with 27,926 athletes and 20,898 Unified partners reported in 2018.

The TalenPro Project, a part of the Puertas Abiertas Foundation, was created and designed by Erika Ender. The project incentivizes social responsibility and education, and fosters and promotes the artistic talents of young Panamanians.

By the end of the afternoon, Erika Ender asked participants about their experience. The youth spoke about how enlightening, rewarding and fun it was being able to share with differently abled athletes who nonetheless, shared their same passion and spirit on the playing field. Athletes expressed how important it was for them to be included and treated as equals, both on and off the field.

Erika shared her thoughts about inclusion at the event saying, “All of us are together, transforming a new generation through education, using tools such as entertainment, culture, values, social responsibility, family and community. We are therefore being better versions of ourselves, better humans, then better professionals and then, a better society.

Thank you, Global Ambassador Erika Ender, Puertas Abiertas Foundation, and the young people of TalenPro, for choosing inclusion and supporting a more dignified, just world for everyone!

Play Unified to Live Unified!

Recommended Content
Erika Ender smiling for a professional head shot.
Record-breaking composer, singer-song writer to help advance inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities.
3 Min Read
Students and teachers cheering in the bleachers. All have on Unified Champion Schools t-shirts.
ESPN honored four schools participating in the “Play Unified. Learn Unified.” project supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. These schools were recognized for their commitment to high standards of inclusion through the Unified Champion School model.
2 Min Read
Special Olympics Italia Unified Beach Sports Games
Special Olympics Italy hosted the first Beach Games to be held in Europe Eurasia and supported by Lions Clubs International.
0:57