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Together on the road of inclusion - Special Olympics Austria and LTE2022-11-23 | LTE News

Together on the road of inclusion - Special Olympics Austria and LTE

It has become a beloved tradition: as soon as the year draws to a close, LTE-group and Special Olympics Austria renew their friendship for another year, thereby reaffirming their common path of giving inclusion a sporty touch.

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GEPA pictures

 

"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” The motto of the Special Olympics perfectly outlines the philosophy of the initiative, which enables people with disabilities to compete in 32 olympic sports in 19 countries worldwide. "However, and this is also part of our philosophy, the focus is not on winning, but on enjoying one's sport," explains Jörg Hofmann, Austrias National Director, based in Schladming.

 

Gernot Engstler | Helmut Laufenböck

 

Since Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded this initiative in 1968, the Special Olympics have enjoyed steadily increasing popularity: today there are 6.7 million athletes worldwide, children from the age of 8, young people and adults, who show their commitment at national and international level events.

  

GEPA pictures | Helmut Laufenböck

 

"We too could hardly await normal business after the pandemic, and in 2022 we were able to return to normal mode," says Jörg happily. "After all, we offer 220 training options to our athletes, which we support the best we can. This amounts to 27,000 training units per year.” These include highlights such as athletics, swimming, dance - “dance is easy to organize, and everything is easier with music anyway” – as well as quite exotic ones, such as golf and snowboarding.

 

SOÖ | GEPA pictures

all GEPA pictures

 

In numerous regional competitions, training results can be presented in well-perceived competitions. 2022s highlight were the 8th National Special Summer Olympics in Burgenland last June. “It is very important to us to publicise our work. After a two-year break we were able to resume the Inclusion Days - families meet here in Schladming, experience joint programs and, above all, have the opportunity to exchange ideas,” reports Jörg and adds: “This year we took part in the Vienna City Marathon with four runners for the first time.”

  

GEPA pictures / Sporthilfe

 

After all, some athletes receive very high honours: “We took part in the election for the "Athlete of the Year". Of course, we are happy for Cecily Hoyos (equitation) and Jürgen Rojko (tennis) for their honors, just as we appreciate for all of us that our work receives the corresponding public perception.”

 

all GEPA pictures

 

As a result, the friendship between LTE and Special Olympics also has symbolic power: Giving your best ambitiously, in a team with supervisors and colleagues thus inspiring your audience: Inclusion offers many paths to personal success. But the best is the one we go together.

 

Andreas Mandl LTE-group, Jörg Hofmann SOÖ (from left) | barus.at

 

preview pic: Jörg Hofmann SOÖ, Andreas Mandl LTE-group / barus.at


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