Samuel Adekunle participated in the programme as an AirBadminton coach. He learned more about coaching Unified Sports and managing relationships with athletes and Unified partners. He also felt he was able to create good relationships with other coaches for support and personal improvement.
“I felt fulfilled because I was able to impart the skills I learnt. I strongly believe the participants’ badminton skills and fitness levels improved during this project, and athletes continue to look forward to the weekly trainings,” he said.
Samuel also said the participants learned how to communicate and socialise with others, had lots of fun and made good friends, demonstrating the true impact of Unified Sports.
Aderibigbe Oluwafemi is an athlete and coach with Special Olympics Nigeria. He took the opportunity to improve his coaching skills as well as participate as an athlete.
“The Unified Sports coach training session exposed me to the uniqueness of Unified Sports principles of playing together, no discrimination, friendships both on and off the field,” he said.
“Training other athletes and Unified partners gave me the self-confidence I needed. I was initially afraid but was able to build my confidence. Most of the participants thought I couldn’t handle the training but once it commenced, the participants’ confidence in me increased through the way I broke down the skills. I learnt many things while participating, such as being brave, self-confident, friendly, tolerant and patient.”
Special Olympics Nigeria’s Unified Sports programme touched 192 athletes, 186 Unified partners and 51 coaches over 21 weeks. Beneficiaries improved their physical fitness, sports skills and participated in self-development programmes, including a Unified Youth discussion to equip them with life skills and prepare them for the future.