Updated: Jun 11, 2019
The following post was written by Anniah and Malvin, Youth Leaders from Zimbabwe. Anniah and Malvin are building upon their communication skills in order to connect more people to Unified Sports. Check out how they#innovateforinclusion!
Our project gave us a great opportunity to not only give back to our community, but also gave us the perspective to see our world in different light. We were able to understand that as Youth Leaders we can put aside discrimination and stigma. By organizing our project around a Unified Sports Day, we found it to be so heartening to see smiles on participants’ faces since they really enjoyed the project.
On the day of our Unified Sports Day, we achieved our main goal: to spread awareness about Special Olympics and promote inclusion through sports. In all sports that took place we made sure there were both partners and athletes. In addition to this, we also made sure that no one over dominated the game, whether it be the athlete or the partner. When we came up with this idea we wanted youth in the community to not only have fun doing sports, but for them to show each other that there are many types of intelligence. Disability doesn’t mean inability — we all have something that we can bring to the table .
Part of this project required us to make connections with different groups such as sponsors, service providers, participants and coaches. In order to make the connections, we had to build our communication skills through phone calls and emails. In communicating our planned activities we used the development model to promote the development of the athlete first. For example, when playing bocce the participants were first taught how they could play the game and then they competed. With this all the participants were aware of the rules and regulations of the game.In addition to us working on our communication skills, our Unified Sports Day helped us work on our time management. Being that we are both in school, we still managed to make time for our project.
During the event we received good responses from every one who came to the event. We have been able to create a place where sports are fun for our participants and the joy of our participants comes first and we come second. This project made us think outside the box and made us to see life in a different way. We were able to experience the hard work put into each and every event that takes place in Special Olympics Zimbabwe.
Malvin and Anniah giving you a tour of the fields on their Unified Sports Day