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Special Olympics Unified Football at Spurs Lodge

Posted on 1 May 2009  - 12:00

Harry Redknapp, Robbie Keane and Ossie Ardiles teamed up for the launch of the Special Olympics Great Britain (SOGB) Unified Football® Roadshow this week, as part of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation's role as the Official Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia Grassroots Football Provider.

Special Olympics Unified Football at Spurs Lodge

Harry Redknapp, Robbie Keane and Ossie Ardiles teamed up for the launch of the Special Olympics Great Britain (SOGB) Unified Football® Roadshow this week, as part of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation's role as the Official Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia Grassroots Football Provider.

Students with learning disabilities from the College of North East London played alongside non-learning disabled volunteers from SOGB's partners at the Club's indoor training facility. The event consisted of a three-hour Unified Football training and competition session, led by Tottenham Hotspur Foundation coaches.

The Foundation will also support the Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia by providing training and coaching clinics at European Football Competitions and our costs will be covered by the joint fundraising initiatives.

Harry and Robbie meet participants

Grant Cornwell, Chief Operating Officer of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation said: "The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation is honoured to be involved with Special Olympics both in Great Britain and across Europe/Eurasia.

"Unified Football plays an integral role in promoting social interaction, by supporting the full inclusion of athletes with and without a learning disability in a competitive sporting environment.

"The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation is completely aligned to the aims and objectives of Special Olympics through our work. Long may this work continue."

Special Olympics Unified Football combines players with and without learning disabilities on the same football teams to play and compete alongside each other in a fair and formal format. The goal is to breakdown barriers in the community, promoting the full inclusion of learning disabled youngsters whilst encouraging social interaction between them and others.

This event was part of the 9th Annual Special Olympics European Football Week 25 April-3 May, 2009 which aims to increase awareness of the Special Olympics Movement through football. An estimated 50,000 players with learning disabilities are expected to participate in football events in more than 45 countries throughout Europe/Eurasia.

Since the launch of the Special Olympics Unified Football® Project in Great Britain in October 2008, the initiative has rapidly developed with 18 unified football teams currently established around the country, which includes 210 Athletes and Unified Partners. Part of this success was facilitated by the newly established relationship between Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia and the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.

The Special Olympics Unified Football® Roadshow will continue in May when similar Unified Football training and competition sessions will be held in the West Midlands and other venues.

Coverage of this event will be available on Spurs TV Online today.

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