“Russia is very honoured to host the Special Olympics World Winter Games, as they are one of the most prestigious sporting events aimed at helping people with intellectual disabilities feel welcome in society. This unique project truly embodies the core values of the entire volunteer movement: open-mindedness, acceptance, and mutual trust. It also brings together two aspects of volunteering: social volunteering and volunteering at sports events. I would like to extend an invitation to everyone who shares our values and is ready to do their part in creating a world where everyone gets equal opportunities,” said Olga Slutsker, President of Special Olympics Russia.
Vladimir Leonov, Minister of Sport of the Republic of Tatarstan, noted that Kazan was at the forefront of the sports volunteer movement in Russia. “Since then, we have hosted hundreds of events, Kazan has earned the great honour of being called the Sports Capital of Russia, and the Kazan Volunteers team gained a favourable reputation both in Russia and around the world. Today, we are facing a new challenge. We are about to host a whole new event that is very important for Russia: the Special Olympics World Winter Games, and we are happy to welcome volunteers from around the world,” said the minister.
The volunteer campaign started on 5 December 2020 and will run until May 2021. Candidates from around the world are eligible to enter. The volunteers positions are open to people over 14 years old living in Kazan, and people over 18 years old living elsewhere in Russia and in other countries. Traditionally, candidates for volunteer positions at international sports events need to be fluent in English and must be available for the entire event duration. After the preliminary stage, potential volunteers must complete mandatory training, including a special preparation programme.
The Games will require 3,000 volunteers. To join the volunteer team, please visit www.sokazan2022.com.
Kazan will be hosting the Special Olympics World Winter Games from 22 to 28 January 2022. The Winter Games programme covers 7 sports: alpine skiing, snowboarding, floorball, cross country skiing, figure skating, short track speed skating, and snowshoeing. The hosts are expected to welcome 2,000 athletes and unified partners (athletes without intellectual disabilities) from 108 countries.
Special Olympics Russia was founded in 1999 and is one of the largest national programmes within the worldwide movement. It brings together approximately 130,000 athletes that take part in various competitions around the country. Within the Special Olympics programme, about 5,000 sporting events are held annually at the municipal, regional, and national levels. Currently, there are regional offices in 62 regions of Russia. One of the key goals of the Winter Games will be to increase the number of athletes with intellectual disabilities involved in the event. The target number is 200,000 people by 2025.
Founded in the USA in 1968, Special Olympics is an international movement aimed at terminating discrimination of people with intellectual disabilities. It promotes inclusion of all people by developing sports and creating programmes in the areas of education, health, and leadership. Every year the Special Olympic movement organises over 100,000 games and competitions in more than 30 Olympic disciplines and unites more than 6 million athletes and unified partners and more than half a million coaches and volunteers in over 190 countries and territories. Learn more: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and Medium blog. More information is available at www.SpecialOlympics.org.
Press Office of Directorate for Sports and Social Projects