Chelsea Foundation

Chelsea FC Foundation hosts Special Olympics event in Singapore

The Chelsea Foundation recently teamed up with Special Olympics Singapore to host an inclusive event which promoted the game of football to students with special educational needs from across the country.

Held at the Chelsea FC International Development Centre Singapore’s home ground at United World College South East Asia (UWCSEA) east campus on Saturday 27 July, the Unified Football Festival saw 400 children and young adults from mainstream and special needs schools coming together to play and to learn the beautiful game under the guidance of coaches from the Chelsea FC Foundation.

With volunteers from the Chelsea FC Supporters Club Singapore (@wearecfcsg) assisting at the event, it proved to be an enjoyable day for the participants who were given the opportunity to try out different activities and games at the UWCSEA East outdoor field and indoor gymnasium.

As an added treat to the participants, they also got the opportunity to meet and have their photos taken with Chelsea mascots Stamford and Bridget, who made a surprise appearance during the event.

‘Chelsea FC Foundation is committed to providing every section of the community the opportunity to play football with us, by ensuring our activities are inclusive allows us to provide genuine engagement without discrimination,’ said Chelsea FC Foundation football development officer James Hagerty of the event.

‘The Unified Football Festival, run in collaboration with Special Olympics Singapore, is a unique concept as children from both mainstream and special schools are partnered together to form one team.

‘By setting an environment for the children in which they can interact with each other, when otherwise they probably wouldn’t, demonstrates the positive impacts that football can have in community and help unite the different sections.’

‘Chelsea FC Foundation is committed to providing every section of the community the opportunity to play football with us, by ensuring our activities are inclusive allows us to provide genuine engagement without discrimination,’ said Chelsea FC Foundation football development officer James Hagerty of the event.

‘The Unified Football Festival, run in collaboration with Special Olympics Singapore, is a unique concept as children from both mainstream and special schools are partnered together to form one team.

‘By setting an environment for the children in which they can interact with each other, when otherwise they probably wouldn’t, demonstrates the positive impacts that football can have in community and help unite the different sections.’

Special Olympics Singapore were delighted with the successful running of the festival, which was part of Special Olympics Asia Pacific’s Asian Football Week activities and was also a build-up event to Play Inclusive 2019, Singapore’s largest unified sports competition, which will be held later this month.

‘This event was a good reflection of football’s power in connecting individuals regardless of nationality, ethnicity or intellectual ability,’ said Special Olympics Singapore president Dr Teo-Koh Sock Miang.

‘The athletes were able to compete on a fair and equal basis, as they were grouped according to their level of ability in the football carnival run by the Chelsea FC Foundation.

‘They were running around and completing stations for dribbling and shooting and the entire football field was filled with enthusiastic cheers and excitement in the midst of perfect weather.

‘It fits in well with our long-term vision for disability football, which is to ensure that anyone with a disability who has an interest in the sport is able to participate, take part in training programmes to develop their skills and compete, and develop friendships and social circles which support their socio-emotional development.’

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