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Grand send-off ceremony held for Indian squad ahead of Special Olympics Unified Football in Dhaka

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | April 15, 2024 05:19 PM

NEW DELHI:Special Olympics Bharat on Monday organised a grand send-off ceremony for the Indian teams for the Special Olympics South Asia 7-a-side Unified Football Tournament 2024 to be held in Dhaka from April 16 to 20.

Much to the delight of the audience in attendance, two exhibition matches of both men's and women's teams were also organised to give a glimpse of the talent of Indian athletes. Students of Manav Rachna University also participated in the matches.

Two teams from India will be participating in the tournament - one each of boys and girls. The teams consist of 11 athletes and unified partners in each, along with five coaches, representing eight states -- Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Delhi.

The event will witness participation from nine unified football teams representing five countries -- Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Maldives, and Hong Kong. The matches will be held at Bashundhara Kings Sports Arena Stadium, Bashundhara, Dhaka.

The final preparation camp for the Special Olympics Bharat teams took place between April 10 to 16 at Manav Rachna University, Faridabad, Haryana. In addition to football practice sessions, the camp had sessions on nutrition, physiotherapy, psychology, and meditation, extending a multi-dimensional experience to the athletes and coaches ahead of their departure to Dhaka.

A productive session on psychology was also conducted which aimed at relieving body stress and fostering a connection with the mind. Led by Dr. Garima Kumar and Anoma Modak, faculties in the Department of Applied Psychology, along with Ayush and Anshika, students, the session encouraged expressive and free body movements, concluding with some relaxation exercises.

Offering words of motivation to the Indian contingent, Special Olympics Bharat Chairperson Dr Mallika Nadda said, “The 7-a-side Unified Football tournament in Dhaka is another opportunity to draw attention to the outstanding power of Unified Sports in combining people from different backgrounds and abilities, on and off the sports field. Given the practises and a rigorous schedule followed by the Trainers, Coaches and teammates, I have no doubt that our teams will place their best foot forward.

"Manav Rachna University, Faridabad has hosted several of our national level camps including this one which has been very crucial in completing the preparation suitably. Events such as this also journey us through some overwhelming partnerships that help us strengthen our initiatives on promoting inclusion through sports," she said.

"The energy and bonding that has emerged within the team is striking and I wish luck to all the participating teams, to once again show their thriving abilities to the world," she added.

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