A women’s football team including six players with intellectual disability and five mainstream athletes will be representing India at the Special Olympics Unified Cup to be held in Chicago from July 17-20.
The five day tournament is being organized to mark the 50th Anniversary of Special Olympics.
With regular training camps being held since March, the team is ready to face global competition at the Unified Cup.
Speaking at the send-off event for the athletes, five-time World Champion Mary Kom, said, “Special Olympics Unified Sports is a great initiative and it is amazing that the women from our country will be representing our nation at the Unified Cup 2018. Wishing the entire team all the very best fro the game.”
“This is a glorious year for Special Olympics as it marks 50 years of the global inclusive movement. It gives me immense pleasure to be able to prepare a Unified Football female team to face global competition at this phenomenal platform. manifesting football as a medium of accelerating inclusion,” founder and CEO of SO Bharat, Air Marshal (Retd) Denzil Keelor, said.
The tournament will feature 24 teams (16 male and 8 female) including India, Brazil, Canada,United States and Uruguay.
The male teams will be playing the 11-a-side competitions, while the Unified female teams will clash in seven-a-side matches.
The participation of the Indian contingent is being supported exclusively by Herbalife Nutrition.