The following post was written by Egle and Kristupas, two Special Olympics youth leaders from Lithuania. The pair make it their mission to strengthen inclusion in their community. Check out how they #innovateforinclusion!
Special Olympics Lithuania created a strong team of fourteen members to complete the project. Our team had eight youth leaders with intellectual disabilities — Kristupas, Mantas R, Mantas L, Povilas, Erikas, Ernestas, Gintare, and Arijus — and six leaders without intellectual disabilities — Egle, Vesta, Vetra, Beatrice, Mija, and Raminta. These individuals were the main youth leading the project.
During the project time, we worked with the Kaunas University of Technology where all main activities were held. Around ninety students participated in the activities. The students all actively engaged in the training sessions and made unified teams with athletes to play floorball.
As part of the project, we made a presentation to the Erasmus+ for the European Union youth from Norway, Georgia, Turkey, Croatia, and Lithuania. Mantas R, Mantas L, and Gintare gave a presentation about their activation and involvement as athletes in Special Olympics Lithuania. Participants of the work shop faced some challenges at the games. One challenge was learning to pay attention to small details. Mantas R led a fifteen-minute training session for everyone as a warm up for the volleyball activities.
All of the participants of the project enjoyed spending time together. At the end of the project, we organized a movie day as a final meeting for all the participants who were involved in the project. Everybody enjoyed the project very much and we all hope to collaborate again in the future.
The 2018 Special Olympics Youth Innovation Grant initiative is supported through partnerships with Hasbro, Inc., The Samuel Family Foundation, theOffice of Special Education Programs at the United States Department of Education, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and the Lions Clubs International Foundation. Learn more about these inspiring projects at SpecialOlympicsGlobalYouthProjects.org.