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Soccer event promotes inclusion and diversity

Schools

The buzz of World Cup soccer was alive and well when Rostrevor College hosted a Special Olympics tournament at the school on August 1.

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More than 100 students from around Adelaide participated in the ‘World Cup’ event which was a celebration of inclusion and diversity.

Special Olympics SA community sport coordinator Igor Negrao said the event, which featured the flags and emblems of various soccer nations, was a rare opportunity to bring students with an intellectual disability together in a major team sporting event.

“It means that they can play the game that they love against different schools, experience playing as a team and taste the joy of success,” Mr Negrao said.

Rostrevor College provided the venue for the tournament and student volunteers helped run the event, including acting as referees and giving plenty of motivation and support to the players.

“For the Rostrevor students, they are experiencing helping someone living with a disability, which is something that everybody should have a chance to do at some stage in their lives,” Mr Negrao added.

“When you have a sporting event like this, it’s an opportunity to focus on what people living with a disability can do, rather than what they can’t do.”

The World Cup Soccer day is the first in a range of school events celebrating the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics Australia’s work to improve the lives of people living with an intellectual disability.

Rostrevor College principal Brian Schumacher said the event had been supported by the college for more than 10 years and was just as valuable for the secondary students who helped run the tournament.

“It’s not only about helping others achieve their goals, but also about Rostrevor students playing an active part in building a more inclusive society,” Mr Schumacher said.

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