11 July 2018, New Delhi: Supported by Herbalife Nutrition, a Unified Football female team of six athletes with intellectual disability and 5 mainstream athletes from India were given a rousing send-off held at Taj Palace, New Delhi. The team was presented with the games kit and mementos by Herbalife Nutrition who is the exclusive sponsor for the Special Olympics Bharat athletes.
Having practised during training camps held every month since March 2018 for the team, under the meticulous supervision of Mr Victor R Vaz, National Sports Director, SO Bharat and also regularly in their respective states, the team is geared to face global competition at the Unified Cup in Chicago (SOUFC 2018). The participants and coaches arrived from the states of Delhi, Goa, Maharashtra, Punjab, Kerala and Rajasthan to depart for the big event where they will represent India
HEAD OF DELEGATION
The preparation and participation of the Indian contingent from Special Olympics Bharat is being supported exclusively by Herbalife Nutrition, the premier global nutrition company. Herbalife Nutrition has partnered with Special Olympics Bharat to train and develop athletes with intellectual disabilities.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ajay Khanna, Vice President and Country Head, Herbalife Nutrition India Said, “The Special Olympics Unified Cup could not be more exciting, and we are happy to partner with the Indian contingent to bring the sporting glory to our country. We have been associated with Special Olympic Bharat over the years and are proud of the talented athletes they nurture. The aim is to support our athletes who represent our country on the global arena and make the entire nation proud.”
Air Marshal (Retd) Denzil Keelor PVSM, KC, AVSM, VrC,, Founder & CEO SO Bharat said “This is a glorious year for Special Olympics as it marks 50 years of the global inclusive movement. I would like towish my best to all the participating athletes and unified partners. It gives me immensepleasure to beable to prepare a Unified Football female team to face global competition at this phenomenal platform manifesting football as a medium of accelerating Inclusion. Joining us in our endeavours is Herbalife Nutrition, our long time partners andexclusive supporters of our participation in this event”
Five times World Amateur Boxing Champion and Herbalife Sponsored Athlete Mary Kom was present at the event said, “Special Olympics Unified Sports is a great initiative and it is amazing that the women from our country will be representing our nation at the Unified Cup 2018. Wishing the entire team all the very best for the game.”
India’s Senior National Badminton Champion and Herbalife Sponsored Athlete Saina Nehwal said, “The athletes representing our country from the Special Olympics Bharat team are extremely special and have undergone immense training to reach this platform. It takes a lot of courage and endurance to do what this team does. I am very delighted to be associated with Herbalife Nutrition who takes such great initiatives to elevate such talent. All the best to the entire team for the game.”
The Unified Cup Chicago (SOUFC 2018), will be held from 17-20 July 2018 The five day Unified Football Cup is a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Special Olympics. 24 teams (16 male and 8 female) will be participating from Bharat (India), Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, France, Germany, Italy, Japan (Nippon),Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Slovakia, United Arab Emirates, United States and Uruguay. While the Male teams will be playing the 11-a-side competitions, the Unified female teams will clash in 7-a-side matches. Special Olympics Bharat is sending a Unified Football female team to the competition.
Photo 1 Caption: (Standing L-R) Samantha Francesca (Head Coach, SOB), Monali Kargaonkar (Coach, SO Bharat – Goa) Victor R Vaz (National Sports Director, SO Bharat), Ashish Shah (CEO, Delhi Dynamos), Olympian Boxer Mary Kom, Cdr Kartikay Saini (Chairman, SO Bharat), Satyaketu Singh (Director, Sales & Marketing, Herbalife Nutrition), Air Marshal Denzil Keelor (Founder & CEO, SO Bharat), Sandeep Gulliya (SO Bharat Medalist)
About Special Olympics Bharat
Special Olympics Bharat is a National Sports Federation having presence across all the States and Union Territories of India. SO Bharat is accredited by Special Olympics Inc, Washington, USA to conduct Special Olympics Programs all over India.
Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1968, and celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 5 million athletes and Unified partners in more than 170 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 108,000 games and competitions throughout the year.
Special Olympics Bharat is recognized by the Government of India as a National Sports Federation in the Priority Category for the development of Sports for Persons with Intellectually Disability and has been designated as the Nodal Agency by the Government for all disabilities on account of its national presence, outreach and experience.
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