In mid-September, the fourth regional games of the non-profit association Special Olympics North Rhine-Westphalia took place in Bonn. In the run-up to the games, there was an associated "torch relay" across NRW, with one day's stage ending in Dortmund. Mascot EMMA did not miss the opportunity to wave to all participants at the Westfalenhallen.
Special Olympics North Rhine-Westphalia is one of 16 German regional associations of Special Olympics Deutschland e.V. As a member of both the international Special Olympics Association and the German Olympic Sports Confederation, the association is committed to promoting sports for people with learning and other disabilities. The main goal of Special Olympics is to offer its members a variety of opportunities to take part in sporting activity. Through the existing games and exercise programmes, which currently encompass 26 sports, the association contributes greatly to the inclusion and personal development of people with learning disabilities.
At the last edition of the regional games, more than 1,000 athletes put themselves to the test in Bonn and can now look back with pride on their sporting highlight of 2022. Including the 600 volunteers, 350 support staff and the countless visitors to the Games, the event involved a total of more than 2,000 people. The volunteers had a special role to play in ensuring everything ran smoothly. This year's games were also the last major Special Olympics event for all athletes before next year's "Special Olympics World Games 2023" in Berlin, which will feature some 7,000 international participants from around 190 countries in what is the world's largest inclusive sporting event.
The BVB Foundation "leuchte auf" will support the North Rhine-Westphalian regional association of Special Olympics in the run-up to these "World Games" by providing extensive financial assistance for the "Host Town Programme". Over a period of three years, "leuchte auf" will fund Special Olympics NRW's work with an annual donation of 10,000 euros. Through this long-term support, the programme can gain the stability required to realise its objectives. In addition to providing support to athletes in the days leading up to the competitions, which will take place in 216 cities and municipalities throughout Germany (46 in NRW, including the city of Dortmund), the programme also aims to improve and expand the structures of inclusive sports opportunities in grassroots sports clubs. The project phase is therefore scheduled to run until the end of 2024.
"leuchte auf" is looking forward to continuing its close partnership with Special Olympics NRW e.V. and is excited about the time before, during and after the "Special Olympics World Games 2023".
All information on ''leuchte auf'' available at: