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Europe Eurasia

Special Olympics in Europe and Eurasia encompasses a diverse range of cultures, languages and customs. The region spans Iceland to Israel, Portugal to Siberia, Russia but we all have one thing in common – a passionate commitment to promoting respect, acceptance, inclusion and human dignity for people with intellectual disabilities through sports.

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Stories from Europe-Eurasia


May 06, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Turkey

Mayor supports Unified Sports Recreation model in Turkey

By Serkan Ovatman

Salihli Mayor Zeki Kayda and young members of a local inclusive football team.

The Mayor of Salihli visited the Ali İhsan Karayiğit Football Field in early May to watch children with and without intellectual disabilities enjoy a football training session. The session is part of a project implementing the Unified Sports Recreation model for 600 children in Turkey.View Story The Mayor of Salihli visited the Ali İhsan Karayiğit Football Field in early May to watch children with and without intellectual disabilities enjoy a football training session. The session is part of a project implementing the Unified Sports Recreation model for 600 children, aged 8 to 12, in six cities in Turkey. The project, promoting inclusion on and off the football pitch, involves Special Olympics Turkey and is funded by the King Baudouin Foundation and supported by the Turkish Football Federation and six professional football clubs, including the Salihli Municipality Football Club. Mayor Zeki Kayda, and Deputy Mayors Yalım Şenkaya and Mahmut Surayya Karaoğlu and Municipal Sports Affairs Director Uğur Kocagoz who also attended, are enthusiastic supporters of the project. As he presented children with jerseys, Mayor Kayda said, “We are happy to see children from our community play together and make friendships that will last a lifetime.”

About Serkan Ovatman:Serkan Ovatman is Special Olympics Turkey Sports Director Assistant and national project coordinator.
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May 06, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Turkey

Football clinics held in Turkey as part of King Baudouin Foundation project

By Serkan Ovatman

Professional coach Nail Yalcin and young inclusive team members.

Clinics run by Turkish Football Federation coaches gave children with and without intellectual disabilities a chance to learn new skills and have fun. The clinics are part of the King Baudouin Foundation project that is implementing the Unified Sports Recreation model in six cities in Turkey.View Story Clinics run by Turkish Football Federation (TTF) coaches gave children with and without intellectual disabilities a chance to learn new skills and have fun. The clinics, held in April, are part of the King Baudouin Foundation project that is implementing the Unified Sports Recreation model among children (8-12) in six cities in Turkey. “The TTF is happy to provide coaches and professional club facilities so that Special Olympics coaches and players have a quality experience on the pitch,” said Aktug Sonmez, TTF’s children and school football specialist. Coach Nail Yalcin, from the Salihli Municiplity Sport Club, said: “As a coach it is great to share my knowledge and skills so that children with and without intellectual disabilities learn to play and live together.” Semih Cevik, from Zonguldak, one of 50 Special Olympics Turkey coaches participating in the project, said: “I learned new skills that will help me teach my young Unified players to be better teammates and friends.”

About Serkan Ovatman:Serkan Ovatman is the Special Olympics Turkey sports director assistant and national project coordinator.
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April 29, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Belgium

And the Webby goes to...Special Olympics!

By Maureen Rabbitt

A social media campaign fronted by Belgian Red Devil’s soccer star Kevin De Bruyne to raise awareness and support for the 2014 Special Olympics European Summer Games has just won an extremely prestigious WEBBY award, often referred to as the ‘Oscars of the internet’.View Story A social media campaign fronted by Belgian Red Devil’s soccer star Kevin De Bruyne to raise awareness and support for the 2014 Special Olympics European Summer Games has just won an extremely prestigious WEBBY award, often referred to as the ‘Oscars of the internet’. The nominated campaign created by Belgian agency LDV United, changed hearts, attitudes and minds ahead of the country hosting the Special Olympics European Games in Antwerp in September 2014. An image showing De Bruyne with the facial characteristics of people with Down syndrome and the question ‘Does De Bruyne deserve fewer supporters now?' became an immediate online success. It was a brave thought provoking campaign that earned its place as a nominee under the Social Media/Sports category. Other nominees included major commercial sport organisations such as the National Hockey League (NHL), US Open and NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Championships.

About Maureen Rabbitt:I am Communications Director for Europe Eurasia.
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April 21, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Denmark

Shuttle Time in Copenhagen

By Suzanne Coogan

Seminar participants

Sixteen badminton head coaches from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Isle of Man, Ireland, Great Britain, Germany, Latvia, Russia and the Netherlands attended the inaugural European Badminton Seminar in Broendby, Denmark.View Story Sixteen badminton head coaches from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Isle of Man, Ireland, Great Britain, Germany, Latvia, Russia and the Netherlands attended the inaugural European Badminton Seminar in Broendby, Denmark 10-13 April. The Seminar follows the recent important signing of an Agreement between Special Olympics Europe Eurasia and Badminton Europe Confederation (BEC). Thanks to the great support of Ian Wright, Badminton World Federation Development Director, the best available coaching education materials were supplied. Called “Shuttle Time” top BWF trainer, Joanne Hughes from Great Britain delivered the training. Poul-Erik Hoyer Larsen, BWF President, IOC Member and 1996 Olympic Badminton gold medallist attended the Seminar along with Brian Agerbek, Secretary General of BEC. The Danish Badminton Federation and Special Olympics Denmark provided the necessary sports equipment so sincere thanks to Soeren Jul Kristansen from Special Olympics Denmark and Nete Andersen from the Danish Badminton Federation.

About Suzanne Coogan:Senior Manager Media and Public Awareness, Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
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April 16, 2015 | SOI: Europe-Eurasia

Top Tennis Stars come together for Special Olympics athletes in Monaco

By Suzanne Coogan

Number 1 in the world Novak Djokovic

A US Open winner and number 10 player in the world, Marin Cilic, brought some of his close tennis friends together for a fundraising event in Monaco to support Special Olympics.View Story A US Open winner and number 10 player in the world, Marin Cilic, brought some of his close tennis friends together for a fundraising event in Monaco to support Special Olympics. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov were among the stars of the tennis world that took part in the exhibition match with athletes from Special Olympics Monaco. The match took place during the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters April 11-19, 2015 at the Monte-Carlo Country Club in front of a delighted audience in a packed centre court. Tennis stars Andreas Seppi, Milos Raonic, Thomas Johansson and Ivan Ljubicic also took part in what was an amazing fundraising event for Special Olympics Monaco. See images from the event. 

About Suzanne Coogan:Senior Manager, Media and Public Awareness at Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
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Upcoming Events Around the World


Date

Event

Location

May 17 - 18 2015

Special Olympics Golf Classic hosted by Paul McGinley

Paul McGinley, will host a Golf Classic at Spain’s number one golf course, PGA Catalunya Resort’s Stadium Course on May 18, 2015. The event will help raise funds for Special Olympics, the world’s largest sports organisation for people with intellectual disabilities. On the eve of the Special Olympics Golf Classic (May 17th) guests will have the opportunity to play a practice round on the critically acclaimed Stadium Course or visit The 2015 Open de España taking place in nearby Real Club de Golf El Prat. The evening will conclude with a dinner reception and auction at PGA Catalunya Resort’s onsite hotel.
For more information
Adrienne Regan
Email: aregan@specialolympics.org
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PGA Catalunya Resort
Barcelona, Barcelona
SPAIN

May 30 - Jun 6 2015

15th Annual Special Olympics European Football week

The Special Olympics Annual European Football Week idea was initiated in the year 2000 supported by UEFA. Starting with 15 countries in 2000, currently Special Olympics European Football Week involves almost all European countries. Each country organizes a variety of football activities including large tournaments, exhibition matches during Club and Football Federation events and small local competitions hosted by communities and schools with an average participation of up to 50,000 people. During Football Week, Special Olympics footballers of all abilities showcase their skills and determination on pitches throughout the Europe Eurasia region. The aim of football week is to encourage people from all walks of life to get involved in the Special Olympics movement using the most popular sport. 2015 edition focus is on Play Unified and living a healthy lifestyle. The kick off the week will host be invitational 7-a-side Football Tournament on 29-31 May with 12 European teams in Rosmalen, The Netherlands.
For more information
More Details
Miroslaw Krogulec
Email: MKrogulec@specialolympics.org
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50 countries around Europe
POLAND

Jul 12 - 16 2015

European 7-a-side Football Tournament “Kim Kallstrom Trophy” by Gothia Cup

Fifth edition of “Kim Källström Trophy” the Special Olympics European 7-a-side football tournament to be held in Gothenburg 12th-16th of July 2015 as part of Gothia Cup. Since the start in 1975 this international youth football tournament has received teams from more than 140 nations. Over 1 million youth football players have taken part making the Gothia Cup not only the biggest but also the most international youth tournament in the world. The Kim Källström Trophy is cooperation between Gothia Cup, Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia, Special Olympics Sweden and the Swedish national player Kim Källström. The main sponsor of the event is Goodsport Foundation. The Gothia Cup is a tournament where the meeting between youth people from different countries and culture are a priority. We therefore kindly ask, that teams which are interested in participating in the tournament does not have an elite focus in their organization. This is a lead to equal the level of the teams that are participating in the tournament. The fourth edition of Kim Källström Trophy was held during 2014 with a lot of positive feedback from the 30 participating teams. The participating teams represented 13 different nations around the world. For 2015 our aim is to invite more international teams and to increase the number of female teams in the tournament.
For more information
More Details
Kristina Sager and Jonatan Sandberg
Email: Kristina.sager@gothiacup.se
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Kviberg fields
Gothenburg, Gothenburg
SWEDEN


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Special Olympics Contact Information


Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
3rd Floor, Morrison Chambers
32 Nassau Street
Dublin 2
Ireland

Office: +353 1 675-5710
Fax: +353 1 707-1748
Email: mrabbitt@specialolympics.org

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Special Olympics Blog

Jean Vanier, a prophet of humility and simplicity, wins!

Today, the Templeton Foundation gave its most prestigious award to my hero, Jean Vanier.  For Linda and our children and me, he has also been our retreat leader, our teacher of humility, our guide. 

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Posted on 2015-03-11 by Tim

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