SUPPORTED by Herbalife Nutrition, a football team of six athletes with an intellectual disability, and five mainstream athletes from India were given a rousing send-off held at Taj Palace, New Delhi. The team was presented with the games kit and mementos by Herbalife Nutrition who is the exclusive sponsor for the Special Olympics Bharat athletes.
Having practiced across training camps held every month since March 2018 and regularly in their respective states, the team is geared to face global competition at the Unified Cup in Chicago (SOUFC 2018). The participants and coaches arrived from the states of Delhi, Goa, Maharashtra, Punjab, Kerala, and Rajasthan to depart for the big event where they will represent India.
The preparation and participation of the Indian contingent from Special Olympics Bharat is being supported exclusively by Herbalife Nutrition, the premier global nutrition company. Herbalife Nutrition has partnered with Special Olympics Bharat to train and develop athletes with intellectual disabilities.
Speaking on the occasion, Ajay Khanna, vice president, and country head, Herbalife Nutrition India said, “The Special Olympics Unified Cup could not be more exciting, and we are happy to partner with the Indian contingent to bring the sporting glory to our country. We have been associated with Special Olympic Bharat over the years and are proud of the talented athletes they nurture. The aim is to support our athletes who represent our country in the global arena and make the entire nation proud.”
Five times World Amateur Boxing Champion and Herbalife sponsored athlete Mary Kom, who was present at the event, said,“Special Olympics Unified Sports is a great initiative and it is amazing that the women from our country will be representing our nation at the Unified Cup 2018. Wishing the entire team all the very best for the game.”
India’s senior national Badminton champion and Herbalife sponsored athlete Saina Nehwal said, “The athletes representing our country from the Special Olympics Bharat team are extremely special and have undergone immense training to reach this platform. It takes a lot of courage and endurance to do what this team does. I am very delighted to be associated with Herbalife Nutrition who takes such great initiatives to elevate such talent. All the best to the entire team for the game.”
The Unified Cup Chicago (SOUFC 2018), will be held from 17-20 July 2018. The five-day Unified Football Cup is a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Special Olympics. 24 teams (16 male and 8 female) will be participating from Bharat (India), Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, France, Germany, Italy, Japan (Nippon), Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Slovakia, United Arab Emirates, United States and Uruguay. While the Male teams will be playing the 11-a-side competitions, the Unified female teams will clash in seven-a-side matches. Special Olympics Bharat is sending a Unified Football female team to the competition.