30th of April 2014

 Press release


Sports activities for Down Syndrome individuals

Special Olympics Romania Foundation announces the start of the “Motor abilities development project for Down Syndrome individuals – essential step towards an independent life” project financed through the SEE 2009-2014 grants, under the ONG Romanian Fund, with the amount of 234.856,16 Euro.

The project’s activities are to be implemented in 6 cities (Bucharest, Brașov, Cluj, Craiova, Iași, Târgoviște) and in the area of the Jiu Valley, between the 1st of April 2014 – 31st March 2016.

Down Syndrome is the most widespread genetic (chromosomial) syndrome  and is associated with intellectual disability, found in 1 to 700-1000 individuals. Unfortunately, in Romania there are no official statistics on the number of persons with Down Syndrome, but it is estimated that approximately 30.000-50.000 people in our country are diagnosed with this condition. Down Syndrome is associated with delays in the motor , cognitive and social development. These have been identified as the main cause of non-inclusion of these people in the communities they live in (non-inclusion which leads to total isolation and towards a high degree of dependency on those responsible for their care and nurture).        

The goal of this project is to create and implement a „Timely Propelling Initiation” in the case of a group of children with Down Syndrome. The aim is to increase the level of social interaction, which would lead to the acquiring of independent living abilities through a system of trainings and unified sports competition events dedicated to children and teenagers with or withouth Down syndrome.

Romanian Special Olympics Foundation will organise practice sessions and demonstrations with specific routines for 150 children with Down Syndrome (aged 2-8 years), training sessions and unified gymnastics competitions for approximately 175 Down Syndrome beneficiaries and also for 175 individuals who do not have the syndrome. Trainings for specialists working with these groups will also facilitate the access of family members to a wider range range of information.

The partnership will enhance exchange visits between Special Olympics Romania and Special Olympics Iceland.

In this project, the National Physical Education and Sports University of Bucharest is the partner of Special Olympics Romania.

For more information please contact: Katharina Kiss, Promotional Campaign Coordinator – 0740 165 459, e-mail: or  Roxana Ossian, Project Manager – 0755 740 294, e-mail

For additional official information regarding the SEE and Norwegian grants please visit

Special Olympics Romania Foundation was created in November 2003 as an adherent, integral part to the international Special Olympics sports movement. Special Olympics provides individuals with special needs the chance to discover their inner potential and sports abilities through training programmes and competitions. Thus, Special Olympics athletes can become active members of their families and communities. Special Olympics represents an experience defined by energy, health, self-esteem and joy of life.

Special Olympics and Paralympics are two different oragnisations, acknowledged by the International Olympic Committee. The main difference between the two is given by the type of disabilities of the athletes and by the level of their individual sports capacities


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