Family support network conference to be held in Malta

Tuesday, September 3, 2013, 18:44

Special Olympics Malta together with Special Olympics Europe-Eurasia will be holding an International Regional Family and Young Athletes Community Building Conference in Malta between the 9th and 11th  of September 2013.

The Conference (which is funded by the Kim Samuel and the Samuel Family Foundation) will be held at the Paradise Bay Hotel in Malta and at the Arka Foundation in Gozo and will host participants from ten different European Countries.

The conference is being held in Malta, as since November 2012, Ms Simone Attard (Family Support Network Co -ordinator for Special Olympics Malta) has been appointed by Special Olympics EuropeEurasia as the Global Family Leader for Special Olympics International until 2015.

The Conference will be held in line with the Special Olympics Global Action Plan (2011 – 2015) and will focus on how to:

• Recruit and train family members to be engaged in diverse roles as Special Olympics leaders and Community Builders.

• Expand opportunities for young athletes, their siblings and families to participate in and benefit from Young Athletes Programs.

• Empower families to be champions for inclusion and equal access throughout their communities, especially with influential leaders and organizations.

• Motivate family members to take on healthy lifestyle choices and support athletes in achieving improved health and well‐being, as well as sports skill development.

This conference has the full support of the Ministry of the Family and Social Solidarity, the Parliamentary Secretariat for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Active Ageing and the Ministry of Tourism.

Special Olympics Malta would like to thank the Vodafone Foundation for their continuous support in running a successful Young Athlete Program.

Families with members who have intellectual disabilities are like other families; however,having a family member with special needs can sometimes introduce new and different challenges for families in their everyday lives.

The Family Support Network connects Special Olympics families with new families of an individual with intellectual disabilities and provides support and information in a critical time of need.

The Family Support Network creates opportunities for family members to:

• Become advocates for the Special Olympics movement;

• Match families to share ideas, issues and common interests;

• Volunteer in their loved one’s athletic training; and

• Encourage new families to join Special Olympics.

Thanks to the support of Kim Samuel and the Samuel Family Foundation, Special Olympics is able to offer grants to support the development of Family Support Networks and Family Support Network events.

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