UEFA has awarded CHF1m to INAS-FID, a charity for people with intellectual disability.
INAS-FID is one of the international sports organisations for people with disabilities. It was founded in 1986 with the aim of furthering sport for people with intellectual disability in an international movement. There are now 87 member countries.
INAS-FID is based on the principle of normalisation. This means that persons with intellectual disability are members of society entitled to the same rights, opportunities and duties as everyone else. "They are not special, but have specific needs, just as the old, the young, the blind and physically impaired have specific needs," the organisation says. "In sport this means that individuals with intellectual disability have the right to participate in the sport of their choice at the level of ability they desire. This may be at local, national, regional or international levels of participation.
Teaching and learning
"Sport is a crucial part of the lives of the world's population. It offers to persons with intellectual disability the same values, pleasures and satisfaction. In addition it is an invaluable means by which social, physical and psychological skills can be taught and learned.
"Sport is a major contributor to good health," the organisation explains. "It can transform the lives of individuals with intellectual disability by giving a new stimulus, a feeling of success, self-worth, achievement and belonging. It can also transform the lives of parents and carers. Ability not disability is the catalyst for change. Athletes with intellectual disability competing at an élite level not only provide role models for others, but also assist in breaking down the prejudice and ignorance which so badly restricts the lives of people with intellectual disability."
Since 1998, UEFA has used the Monaco gala events - which include the European Football Awards and the UEFA Super Cup match, and herald a new club competition season - to announce the donation of €650,000 to a charitable cause.
The previous donations have been made to the following organisations: Special Olympics Europe Eurasia (SOEE): football-related projects for people with learning disabilities (1998); International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC): in favour of victims of war (1999 and 2000); Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE): campaign against racism in football (2001); Danish Cross Cultures Projects Association (CCPA): grassroots Open Fun Football Schools Project in the Balkan and Caucasus regions (2002); and Make-A-Wish Foundation International: providing enriching experiences for children with life-threatening medical conditions (2003).
For more information on the International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability, go to www.inas-fid.org.