Sixteen athletes from different sports had completed the first Athlete Leadership seminar that was held by Special Olympics Israel. Their parents were amazed at the big difference they saw in their athletes, before and after the course.View Story ▼Sixteen athletes from different sports had completed the first Athlete Leadership seminar that was held by Special Olympics Israel. The athletes met 6 times at the Wingate Sport Institute, on Fridays, for about 3 hours every meeting. During the seminar the athletes learned how to deliver a short speech. The idea behind this is to have the athletes themselves become the best ambassadors of Special Olympics. During the course, the athletes exercised standing straight before an audience, keeping their speech short (3 minutes-timed by a sand clock), keeping eye contact with their listeners, smiling while speaking, speaking loud and clear. A special session was dedicated to learning about the history of Special Olympics, the great role of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the philosophy of Special Olympics, unique things about the organization (such as Unified Sports, divisioning, Healthy Athlete, Youth Activation, etc.) . The goal was to get them to identify with Special Olympics and get to know the great picture of the organization, and not only focus on their sport, and themselves. Make them be proud to be part of this wonderful organization. When they felt ready ,a video was taken of each one carrying his/her speech before the class. They learned to listen to remarks given by buddies, and learned to remark to others in a friendly way- no offense, while analyzing each speaker.To the last meeting the parents were invited. Each athlete spoke for up to 3 minutes in front of the whole class and parents. Their assignment was to present themselves, the sports they take part in, talk about how Special Olympics made a difference in their lives, and share their future dreams with everyone. The parents were amazed at the big difference they saw in their athletes, before and after the course. They were moved by the new ability the athletes mastered so well. Five of the Athletes will practice their new ability as “athlete spokesmen” for the Israeli delegation at the LA World Games in July.
About Reuven Astrachan:I am National Director & National Sports DirectorView less ▲