A Track toward Inclusion
Led by: Anni
Special Olympics Finland
The following post was written by Anni, a Special Olympics Youth Leader from Finland. Anni makes it their mission to strengthen inclusion within their community. Check out how they #innovateforinclusion!
My innovation project was targeted at youth with ID in Jyväskylä, Finland. During my project, I was able to partner with a local track and field club and recruit students from two schools in Jyväskylä. With assistance from others, I was also able to recruit Special Olympics Athletes who were able to help plan out the track activities and events.
The overall goal of my project was to increase inclusion, especially in Track sports. Within my community, I noticed there were not many individuals participating, despite the large amount of participation seen within other parts of Finland. Overall, the opportunities for Special Olympic athletes in this region of Finland is lacking, therefore I was able to step toward correcting this imbalance through A Track Toward Inclusion.
Participants with and without intellectual disabilities reported positive experiences and being grateful for the opportunity to compete, which can be seen through our end-of-season highlight video. Through this project, I feel that this is a small step toward combating injustice in the world.
The Special Olympics Youth Innovation Grant initiative is supported through partnerships with SNF, Hasbro Inc., the Office of Special Education Programs at the United States Department of Education, Samuel Family Foundation, Lions Club International Foundation, Microsoft Corporation, PMIEF, and Kantar. Learn more about these inspiring projects at SpecialOlympicsGlobalYouthProjects.org.