An excellent event was organized by Olympiacos at the Martial Arts facilities on the Stadium “G. Karaiskakis» on Thursday 14 November. The action “Tae Kwon Do for People with Disabilities” was carried out in cooperation with the International Tae Kwon Do Federation for People with Disabilities and under the auspices of the Municipality of Piraeus, the Unesco, the Xinis Educational Group and the sport management company C.J.T. in the framework of the European project “Sports For Different Heroes” which focuses on the social integration of people with intellectual disabilities.
The event included Tae Kwon Do activities for people with autism and mental retardation with the participation of the club Academy. The participants had the opportunity to practice and entertain under the guidance of Tae Kwon Do Coaches, Mr Nikiforos Kotridis and Mrs. Vicky Grammatikopoulou. This is another Olympiacos event included in a series of activities that the club implements for people with disabilities in 2019 aiming at their social inclusion and raising public awareness of the problems that they face in their daily lives. The action “Drawing Mental Disability” is the next one and will be implemented in cooperation with the Municipality of Piraeus aiming at mobilizing and raising the awareness of young students about the disabilities.
The Mayor of Piraeus, Mr. Yiannis Moralis, said: “In the last 10 years, Olympiacos has been implementing such actions of corporate social responsibility and especially for children. It is a commendable initiative of the Olympiacos and the International Tae Kwon Do Federation for people with autism. The Municipality has given its auspices and always wants to participate in such events. That is very important. These kids live with us and we give them joy and make their lives more interesting. Congratulations to Olympiacos, the coaches and the kids here. They are actions that we want to multiply and the Municipality of Piraeus will be there on any proposal of Olympiacos and other clubs. ”
Ms. Christina Tsiligkiri, Project Manager for the Sports for Different Heroes and on behalf of the Unesco of Piraeus stated: “The purpose of the project is to make the society to find out who are mentally retarded, mentally disabled. Unfortunately there is a misunderstanding on that which also leads to a fear. So, we are trying to socialize people with disabilities because we have to keep in mind that they do not have the same activities and the same daily routine as we do, but at the same time, the young and older people are also informed about all kinds of differences in mental retardation and disability respectively”.
The Director of the Olympiacos SFP Academies, Mr. Manolis Tsirogiannis underpinned: “The Olympiacos Academies are next to the children with special needs once again. As the Volleyball and the Handball academies participated in a previous action, the Tae Kwon Do one is also here to send the project message and shows the power of sports. We try to give joy to kids through common training. We are aiding these actions with all the teams involved and sending a strong message of solidarity once again.”
The Parliamentary Member, Mrs. Noni Dounia mentioned: “We are here to embrace the wonderful action of Olympiacos in collaboration with the Municipality of Piraeus and under the auspices of the European project” Sports For Different Heroes “which promotes sport for all. It reinforces the embrace and love of diversity as well as the “Drawing the Mental Disability” Action implemented by the Municipality. We want these people to be socialized, to be integrated as everyone in society and a very beautiful way is through the arts and sports. ”
The Parliamentary Member, Mr. Yiannis Melas stated: “Congratulations to Olympiacos for such an important initiative. Sport unites people and we have to live with them at all levels of our daily lives in order to understand all the difficulties of people with disabilities. The training of handicapped athletes with Olympiacos tae kwon do ones offers joy to both categories of athletes but at the same time gives to all of us a life lesson; to know the challenges that they face in order to respect them in the daily life and make their lives more enjoyable. I wish the example of Olympiacos to be followed by other clubs in respecting people with disabilities. ”
The Director of the Sports Department of Xinis Educational Group and Secretary General of the Olympiacos Veterans’ Association, Mr. Antonis Glykas said: “The social message that Olympiacos gives is very important. We are all together to support people with special skills. Olympiacos has the experience to implement such initiatives and hope that other clubs will follow this example. Congratulations to the President Mr. Vangelis Marinakis, Mr. Michalis Kountouris, Mrs. Christina Tsiligkiri, the Mayor of Piraeus, Mr. Yiannis Moralis and those who love and embrace humanity for such outstanding initiatives. ”
The Coach of Kwon Do Disable athletes, Mr Nikiforos Kotridis noted: “The message of this event is that sport embraces all children. As a Tae Kwon Do International Federation of People with Disabilities in Greece, we want to thank Olympiacos for helping us highlight what we do. We make kids to get out of the house and get involved with a martial art that offer them a lot. I would like to say that this event is also supported by the World Federation and is welcomed by its President, Ben Evans, and we hope that it will continue. “