The Special Olympics Bharat (SO Bharat) Maharashtra team was invited by the Indian Super League side Mumbai City FC to their training session where they got a chance to meet, interact and practice with the Islanders' first team ahead of World Children's Day.
The aim of SO Bharat is to improve the health and well-being of children with intellectual disabilities and allow them to reach their full potential. SO Bharat also advocates and makes conscious efforts towards making sport as a platform for social inclusion for the special athletes, promoting unified and inclusive sport in their programmes.
The SO Bharat athletes got a chance to spend an evening with the Islanders' first team, where both sets shared experiences of the challenges each face in their fight to be better every day. Post the training session, the Islanders presented the SO Bharat team with a Mumbai City FC shirt and a football autographed by the squad as a token of appreciation.
Mumbai City FC's Portuguese head coach, Jorge Costa who was delighted in having the SO Bharat team said: "We cannot imagine the hardships and barriers these wonderful kids go through on a daily basis. We are glad that we could share an evening and spend some time on the pitch with them. Sports teaches each and one of us that we have to keep going when it gets tough and it's incredible to see the way Special Olympics Bharat is helping the children deal with the rigours of life through sport. On behalf of the club and the entire team, I wish them the best in the future and look forward to meeting them again soon."
Program Manager -- Maharashtra of Special Olympics Bharat, Hansini Raut said, "The Special Olympics Bharat Maharashtra team feels privileged to have met and trained with the Mumbai City FC first team. The players were very warm and made our team feel comfortable. SO Bharat focuses on social inclusion through sport and we are extremely happy that Mumbai City FC supported our cause while participating in an inclusive football training session with our children. We wish the Mumbai City FC side all the best for the remainder of their season."
Mumbai City FC continue their ISL campaign as they take on NorthEast United in an away game on November 27.