Over 20 Special Olympics Singapore athletes showed off their football abilities in a clinic under the Singapore America Soccer Exchange on 5 December.
For atheletes with an intellectual disability, clinics are a start for empowerment, to show their capability is far greater than the word’s perception of their disabilities.
The Special Olympics group featured a mix of experienced and beginner players, including Team ‘Special Lioness’, a female football team formed earlier this year to give the players competition experience.
The Exchange is part of the U.S. Embassy’s broader sports diplomacy initiative to foster greater mutual understanding between the youth of the United States and Singapore . Working with Football Association of Singapore(FAS), the program is specifically tailored for girls to promote women’s empowerment through sports and inspire them through activities such as soccer.
Four former U.S. National Women’s soccer players will conduct the weeklong clinics in Singapore. The coaches are : Janie Szpara, Anna Shortt, Karen Willoughby and Val Henderson. Starting 3 December, they will be conducting several soccer clinics for Singaporean girls ages 12-18 at various Singapore institutions and secondary schools.
In addition to the clinics, the coaches will be speaking on 5 December at the AG Home on “Women’s Empowerment in Sports.” They will also visit the Jamiyah Orphanage on 7 December as part of a community outreach program.