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January 10, 2013 | Europe Eurasia: Germany

Inclusion is working for TSV Hagen Unified

By Daniel Stanev

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Special education teacher Heinz-Werner Schmunz first heard of Special Olympics when he accompanied some of his students to Special Olympics Germany´s National Winter Games 2001, and it did not take long for Special Olympics to win his heart. Back home in Hagen, North Rine-Westphalia, the former Basketball professional player (1971 – 1981 for SSV Hagen) launched a basketball program at his school. Teams from Gustav-Heinemann-Schule have so far competed on several regional tournaments and National Games and represented SO Germany at SO World Summer Games 2007 in Shanghai. Recruiting Unified Partners from Basketball club BBV Hagen and athletes from Gustav-Heinemann-Schule, Heinz-Werner started a Unified Basketball Team in 2008. Since 2009 this team, TSV Hagen Unified, participates in the city´s regular Basketball league operation, competing with teams of players without intellectual disabilities on a weekly basis. Heinz-Werner and his team proved to all of us: Inclusion is working!

About Daniel Stanev: I have been working for Special Olympics Germany since April 2011. My personal highlight since working for SO Germany was being part of the German delegation during Special Olympics World Summer Games Athens 2011.

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