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Foundation partners with Special Olympics Asia Pacific to improve skills of football coaches across Asia

Posted on 31 August 2016  - 10:15

Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, in partnership with Special Olympics Asia Pacific, has today kicked off a four-day training clinic to improve the skills of Special Olympics football coaches across Asia for people with intellectual disabilities (ID).

The groundbreaking training clinic, which takes place at ITE College West from August 31 to September 3, will see two coaches from the Foundation impart their expertise and knowledge in delivering high quality sports programmes for athletes with ID.

A total of 22 coaches from countries such as India, Australia, and Sri Lanka – including eight from Singapore – will be equipped with specialised knowledge and techniques to engage and provide quality football training to people with ID, as well as expertise in nutrition and fitness.

The clinic is the second of three bespoke training modules – part of Special Olympics Asia Pacific’s Coach Development Programme – that aims, by the end of 2017, to develop a pool of at least 15 regional Master Trainers who will qualify to train other coaches in Asia for athletes with ID. This programme is the first of its kind in Singapore and the region that caters to the sporting needs of people with ID.

“One of the ways the Special Olympics movement transforms the lives of people with ID is through sports, empowering this marginalised group to become contributing members of society,” said Dipak Natali, Special Olympics Asia Pacific’s Director of Organizational Development.

“We believe in providing equal sports opportunities to people with ID to develop fit and skilful athletes. Working with leading football clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur helps Special Olympics coaches improve their own performance and provide enhanced levels of coaching to athletes with disabilities.”

The Foundation is a leader in the field of disability football and has over 10 years’ experience in developing the game from grassroots to elite level. The Foundation and Special Olympics have worked together since 2007 in a global partnership driven by a common goal to create social change through the power of sport. The customised programme, which was initially delivered in Europe and North America, has seen the Foundation’s coaching excellence and unique ethos rolled out across the Asia Pacific Region such as India and Singapore since 2014. This project represents a huge step forward in improving grassroots football coaching for athletes with ID in the region.

Tottenham Hotspur has an estimated fan base of over 170 million across Asia, with a well-established official Supporters’ Club in Singapore that recently celebrated its 15th Anniversary.

Grant Cornwell MBE, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s Chief Executive, said: “We are proud of our long-term work with Special Olympics and are delighted to be delivering this clinic in Singapore. Tottenham Hotspur Foundation is a leader in providing sporting opportunities for people with disabilities, both on our doorstep in North London and overseas. Our coaches are experienced in delivering a high standard of football coaching to athletes with a wide range of intellectual disabilities and we aim to share our knowledge with Special Olympics coaches from across Asia using our renowned methods.”