As part of the Special Olympics European Football Week, Special Olympics North Rhine-Westphalia and VfL Bochum 1848 once again organised a joint athlete training session for athletes with intellectual disabilities. The European Football Week is organised by Special Olympics, the world’s largest sports organisation for people with intellectual disabilities recognised by the International Olympic Committee, in cooperation with UEFA.
On Monday, May 23, 2022, at the invitation of VfL, an athlete training session was held with around 35 athletes with an intellectual disability under professional conditions. The Special Olympics athletes were students from the Hilda Heinemann School in Bochum, residents* of the Franz Sales House in Essen and members of the Rainbow Stars from Velbert. Under the direction of Max Sabottka, coach of the U11 of the Talentwerk, as well as some other VfLers, the practice session provided a lot of fun among the participants. Some technical drills at the beginning were followed by a great goal kicking exercise. The training day ended with an exciting final tournament.
For the first time since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, a joint training session could take place again. Special Olympics athletes have already trained with VfL Bochum 1848 in previous years, and Special Olympics NRW is also organising training sessions for people with intellectual disabilities with Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 this spring.
As part of the Special Olympics World Games 2023 in Berlin, the city of Bochum will be the host city for one of the international delegations. Thus, athletes from one of the participating countries will be hosted in Bochum during the Games. There will be a colourful supporting program around the Special Olympic World Games 2023 in Bochum.