Running towards Inclusion

Liina-Lotta is a Special Olympics Youth Leader from Finland who will lead a Youth Innovation Project to increase Special Olympics opportunities in Athletics (track and field) in her community. Liina-Lotta has coached a Special Olympics Athletics team for the past year, and this experience inspired her to design a larger Athletics program that will involve the younger generation.


Over the course of 12 months, Liina-Lotta will promote her new Unified Athletics club, which will focus on youth ages 9-14. Within the club, she will have two different groups: one focused on the fundamentals and one for those who wish to compete nationally and internationally at Special Olympics World Games. Marketing for the new club will begin in August and the club will begin in September. Liina-Lotta will bring current Special Olympics Finland athletes to the club to inspire the youth. Ultimately, Liina-Lotta will put on two different larger competitions, one at the end of the fall and one at the end of the spring for Special Olympics athletes and their Unified partners to compete together. Liina-Lotta's Youth Innovation Project will engage over thirty youth with and without intellectual disabilities and bring them together with the power of sport to strengthen the Unified Generation.