Recently the Bnei Brak Payis Center hosted a Special Olympics event for people with intellectual developmental disabilities, those unable to take part in the standard Special Olympics. The program, held in conjunction with ALEH, the Israel Special Olympics Association and MATP (Motor Activity Training Program), was specially developed by the Israel Olympics for the benefit of people with IDD.
The unique sporting evening, the first of its kind in Israel, celebrated the conclusion of an intense period of training for 16 participating ALEH sportspeople, enabling them to show off their amazing abilities, talents too often overlooked by others. During the competitions, ALEH students exhibited their prowess at various sports stations, each based on principals borrowed from different areas of sports such as soccer, bowling, basketball and softball, together with other participants without disabilities, emphasizing the principle of inclusive sports that enable integrative, joint activity for all.
“We believe in the ability of ALEH students to attain success and find their voices. Every person, regardless of their physical or intellectual abilities or disabilities, has the right to live a full, quality life. I would like to express my gratitude to every person who took part in making this day possible,” said Yehuda Marmorstein, founder and General Director of ALEH.
The event concluded with the presentation of medals to program participants, well deserved awards for the efforts they invested in the various competitions.
In the words of Sharon Levy-Balanga, chair of the Israel Special Olympics, “The sportspeople we had the fortune to see today as part of a wider Special Olympics program in conjunction with ALEH, are people who succeed against all odds. Through this program, we learn the meaning of determination, happiness and dreams. I would like to thank all our partners who helped promote this event. I have no doubt that this is only the beginning.”