About Special Olympics Romania

Special Olympics is a global movement that capitalizes on human potential through the transformative power of sport. Special Olympics helps people with intellectual disabilities to be accepted and involved as active members of the communities they belong to, to create a society that is respected and inclusive for all of us. Using sport as a catalyst, along with collateral programs for health, education, employment, advocacy, Special Olympics fights against passivity, injustice and intolerance. In Romania, since 2003, Special Olympics has helped, so far, over 27,000 children, young people and adults with intellectual disabilities to be active citizens of the community. Special Olympics Romania wants to reach each of them and their families through sports competitions, educational activities in schools, training courses for coaches, health assessments, fundraising events and sustainable solutions to increase the employability of adults with intellectual disabilities.


Advocacy Program for People with Intellectual Disabilities

The project “Leaders through Sport – Advocacy Program for People with Intellectual Disabilities”, is
implemented by SOR (Special Olympics Romania Foundation) in partnership with the Association of Support for the Establishment, Development and Management of Sports Structures (ASCDMSS) with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants 2014-2021. The project is implemented in collaboration with Special Olympics Iceland, over the course of 36 months (February 1st, 2021 – January 31, 2024) and it will be available in 15 counties from Romania.

The aim of this project is to train people with intellectual disabilities (PID) in advocacy, leadership and self-representation techniques, to form the SO Sports Leaders Committee, in order to approach local authorities, to request access to sports venues for trainings and public funds for organizing sports competitions. Likewise, the informal network Special Olympics National Sports Committee (CSNSO) will be created, with the role to represent people with intellectual disabilities (PID) and to advocate for their rights, to reinforce their abilities and facilitate their access to sports.

The project runs for 36 months and is implemented in 15 counties: Arad, Bacău, Botoșani, Brașov, București-Ilfov, Cluj, Constanța, Galați, Gorj, Hunedoara, Iași, Vâlcea, Prahova, Sibiu și Timiș.

Under the slogan “I CAN!” , The project “Leaders through Sport” will support 675 PID from 15 counties to improve their health by practicing regularly adapted sports activities, to acquire the necessary skills to advocate and become part of sports structures that represent their interests at local and national level.
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The most important activities of the project "Leaders through sport":


60 Leading Athletes (SL) with intellectual disabilities from 15 cities in Romania will be trained in advocacy and leadership techniques and will approach local authorities to request free access to sports facilities for weekly training and public funds for organizing sports competitions.


The informal network of the Special Olympics National Sports Committee will be set up to represent th e PDI and to implement EU legislation on non-discrimination in sport. In this regard, CSNSO will facilitate meetings with decision makers, provide information for the 15 sports clubs, work together with the SO Sports Leaders Committee and ASCDMSS, in order to facilitate access for people with intellectual disabilities to sports facilities and dedicated sports activities.


The Special Olympics Sports Leaders Committee (CSLSO) will be formed with the mission to present the rights of this category of people and the benefits of having them practising sports.


7 Sports Clubs with Sport Identity Certificate (CSCIS), dedicated to PID, will also be founded and they will be involved in activities together with other 8 existing clubs.


The representatives of the Sports Clubs and of the Sports Leaders Committee will learn from the partner organization ASCDMSS and from the collaborators from Special Olympics Iceland how to advocate for free access to sports venues for trainings and how to gain funding from local authorities.


540 PID from 15 counties will participate in trainings and adapted sports competitions.


The National Conference “Leaders through Sports” will be organized (which will bring together 90 participants interested in the field of adapted sports); also, 15 local sports competitions, 2 regionals and 1 national.


Another 75 people with intellectual disabilities (PID) will be trained in self-representing techniques.