Young Athletes in Moldova: Celebrating success and sharing experiences

The Young Athletes programme in Moldova is going from strength to strength. The team recently hosted its annual Young Athletes Festival followed by a training workshop to share knowledge and experience with delegations from Armenia and Kyrgyz Republic.
A young girls in a yellow t-shirt holds a red football. Her eyes are closed and she is shouting in glee.

Smiles and celebration were the order of the day at the recent Special Olympics Moldova Young Athletes Festival. Over 60 children from three regions of Moldova, as well as local organisations and our partners UNICEF, gathered in Chisinau for a day of Young Athletes activity and fun. But that wasn’t the only Special Olympics action taking place in the city that day! Over 20 Unified Football teams, including a delegation from Ukraine, were also in Chisinau for the Unified Football Festival. Special guests at the events included Desiree Jongsma, UNICEF Representative in Moldova, and Leonid Oleinicenco, President of the Football Federation of Moldova.

Speaking about the Young Athletes Festival, Angela Munteanu, Communication Officer with UNICEF Moldova, said, “We are very happy to be part of the events this week with our partners Special Olympics Moldova and the Football Federation of Moldova. The first event which our UNICEF Representative Desiree Jongsma attended in Moldova was the Young Athletes Festival in 2017. Special and extraordinary things happen when we collaborate. Thank you for being such good partners and we look forward to further cooperation.”

Three smiling young children in yellow Special Olympics Young Athletes t-shirts face the camera. They are standing on a grass pitch with a crowd behind them.
Participants at the Special Olympics Young Athletes Festival in Chisinau, Moldova on 28 May 2019.

These activities and celebrations were followed by a three-day Young Athletes training workshop and Family Health Forum. Funded by the MetLife Foundation, the workshop allowed the team from Special Olympics Moldova to share invaluable Young Athletes experience and knowledge with delegations from Armenia and Kyrgyz Republic. Training and demonstration sessions were complemented by meetings with Special Olympics Moldova partners including UNICEF, the Football Federation of Moldova, Ministry Representatives and education specialists. On the final day, each delegation prepared action plans which they hope to implement in their own countries.

Speaking about the workshop, Artak Israelyan, National Director with Special Olympics Armenia noted, “This was a very educational and valuable experience for us. We learned a very important thing while here in Moldova and that is the importance of always learning new things from each other. Thank you to Special Olympics Moldova for being such wonderful hosts!”

Children in yellow t-shirts holding colourful plastic hockey sticks with other colourful equipment and balls laid out on the grass beside them.
Participants at the Special Olympics Young Athletes Festival in Chisinau, Moldova on 28 May 2019.

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