Special Olympics Nigeria Athlete Got Talent

The Athlete Got Talent is an initiative of Special Olympics Nigeria to showcase and promote the talents of people with intellectual disabilities (ID) in music, dance, and art using a unified approach.

The initiative commenced its first curriculum in August 2021, with a call for entry of unified teams (a person with and a person without ID paired). Those who met the selection criteria were admitted into a 3-month training program by certified professionals in Music, Dance, and Art. The participants were also taught how to use social media to promote their skills.

On the 4th of December, the 2021 pilot Athlete Got Talent initiative concluded with a grand finale in Ikeja, Lagos. The participating unified teams thrilled the audience in an entertaining and fun-filled way showcasing their fluid dance routines, captivating artwork, and enthralling musical performances.

Some highlights of the event were the electrifying group performance of the unified music and dance team members, the competitive performances of the unified teams, the recitals by students from invited special schools, and the performances by the guest artist.

The Manager, Initiatives Program, Ibiyemi Ayeni used the opportunity to commemorate World Disability Day 2021, by addressing the audience in a speech that was supported with a stage drama performed by the athletes. The message was a call urging all to stand for equal access to opportunities and services for people with intellectual disabilities as we work towards an inclusive and sustainable world. The event ended with an award and prize presentation to the winners of the competition in each category, and presentation of gift items to all participants.

Countdown to the 2022 Special Olympics World Winter Games: 200 Days To Go

We are exactly 200 days away from the 2022 Special Olympics World Winter Games, in Kazan, Russia, the world’s largest sport and humanitarian event to hold next year. Special Olympics Nigeria athletes are full of excitement and are looking forward to the games, to join their counterpart from across the globe to showcase the incredible abilities that people with intellectual disabilities possess.

To commemorate the 200-day countdown, Kazan, Russia erected a dynamic monument in the center of the city. The monument features Zilant, a mythical dragon and mascot for the (Kazan Games), and a digital screen with a dynamic clock counting down the days until Opening Ceremony on 22nd January 2022.

The Kazan Games will offer 2,000 Special Olympics athletes and Special Olympics Unified Sports® (UCS) partners from 100 nations the opportunity to compete in seven sports: alpine skiing, snowboarding, floorball, cross-country skiing, figure skating, short track speed skating, and snowshoeing. In addition to sports competitions, the Kazan Games will focus on expanding the organization’s programming in inclusive health, education, and leadership.

To learn more and to get the latest update about the games, click here.

Special Olympics Nigeria Recognizes her Health Partners with the Golisano Health Leadership Award

On the 15th of June 2021, Special Olympics Nigeria honoured her health partners with the Golisano Health Leadership Award at an award ceremony in Lagos State.

The recipients of this year’s awards are Central Securities Clearing System Plc (CSCS), Max International, and Professor Folakemi Oredugba, a Special Olympics Nigeria Clinical Director.

These awards were presented in recognition of their amazing work and contribution towards advancing inclusive health, where people with intellectual disabilities in Nigeria can have continued access to quality healthcare services.

The Golisano Health Leadership Award is Special Olympics’ highest honor for Health Partner organizations and individuals.

News Update: Special Olympics Nigeria Skillz for Life program is back

After a break due to the coronavirus outbreak, our Skillz for Life program has resumed activities and we are currently implementing in the South Western part of Nigeria.

The Skillz for Life initiative sponsored by the ExxonMobil Foundation, provides malaria and HIV/AIDS education, free counselling and testing services to people with intellectual disabilities (ID), their families and communities.

The program is currently being implemented in four states namely, Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, and Oyo states in strict compliance with COVID-19 guideline. So far, coaches training for new volunteers have been conducted in Osun and Oyo states and a specialized training for master coaches, athlete leaders, parents and teachers held in Oyo state.

A Family Health Forum was also organized in Oyo state, with more still to come as the program implementation continues. Training for master coaches, athlete leaders, parents and teachers is also scheduled to hold in Delta state later this month.

Learn more about the Skillz for Life Initiative by clicking here.

HMD Global Drives Digital Inclusion

Special Olympics Nigeria Athletes with their Nokia C1 phones

HMD Global drives inclusion by helping people with intellectual disabilities stay connected, informed, and be inclusion advocates. Through the donation of phones to Special Olympics Nigeria athletes, the organization has enabled People with Intellectual Disabilities who have experienced marginalization in society, compounded with the loss of connection with peers due to the government-mandated lockdown (to prevent the spread of COVID-19) be digitally included in today’s data-driven world.

Nokia C1 Phone Presentation

People with Intellectual Disabilities – athletes – who attend special schools and participate in weekly sports training, often looked forward to these events to get educated, stay physically fit, and mingle with their peers. With the global pandemic which led to the government-imposed lockdown, schools were closed, and group gatherings such as sports training were also not allowed to prevent the spread of COVID -19. This left athletes at home unable to meet or communicate with friends.

In today’s world, a smartphone is more than a phone – it’s a means to connect with friends and the rest of the world, it’s a means to stay informed and educated on happenings around you and it’s also a means to share your voice and your beliefs.

HMD Global – Home of Nokia Phones, recognizing the need to ensure that people with Intellectual Disabilities are not left behind and excluded in a time like this, took on the digital inclusion initiative which involved the donation of phones to People with Intellectual Disabilities. Thus, earlier in November 2020, six lucky athletes were selected to be recipients of Nokia C1 phones. These were given to them in a handover event. The athletes were visibly excited and appreciative as they smiled and took pictures with their new phones.

Special Olympics Nigeria is grateful for the support of HMD Home of Nokia Phones in the digital inclusion of People with Intellectual Disabilities. Thank you HMD Global for putting a smile on the faces of our athletes and helping them stay connected, informed, and strong advocates for inclusion.

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