Eastern Mediterranean University Special Olympics Unify Project organised in collaboration with Special Olympics Turkey, which provides year-round sports training and athletic competitions in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, was held at Eastern Mediterranean University.
The two-day event which commenced on Thursday, 19 May 2016 hosted mixed basketball and mixed football games. Among participating Turkish teams in the said event were Şişli Saadet Special Education and Vocational Training Center, Şişli Anadolu High School, Etimesgut Special Education and Vocational Training Center, Bilkent High School, Ayas Special Education and Rehabilitation Center, Ayas College, Ege Artı Special Education and Rehabilitation Center, İzmir American College, Varyant Special Education and Rehabilitation Center, and 19 May University. Teams from Special Education Foundation, Famagusta Special Education Center, Dumlupınar and Famagusta Turkish Power players and EMU sports players also took part in the said event.
In mixed teams, special children and other participants cooperated to win. At the end of the matches, medals were presented to sports players by EMU Sports Affairs Director Cemal Konnolu and other officials. Participating special children also had the opportunity to take part in various colorful activities taking place within the framework of the 22nd Spring Festival.
Commencing at EMU Lala Mustafa Paşa Sports Center at 10:00 a.m., the event hosted the opening addresses of Special Olympics Turkey Executive Board Chair Mehmet Civelek, Vice Rector for Student Affairs Prof. Dr. Hıfsiye Pulhan, Special Olympics Turkey Honorary President Dr. Dilek Sabancı and EMU Rector Prof. Dr. Necdet Osam. Extending his appreciation to EMU for their hospitality, Civelek stated that they are extremely happy to carry out the project at EMU. In her address, EMU Vice Rector for Student Affairs Prof. Dr. Pulhan expressed her happiness in hosting the special guests on 19 May, a day which carries special significance for the youth.
In her opening remarks, Special Olympics Turkey Honorary Chair Dr. Dilek Sabancı extended her best wishes to all on the occasion of 19 May Atatürk Commemoration and Youth Day. Dr. Dilek Sabancı added that Special Olympics Turkey carries out its operations under Special Olympics, an organisation in 177 countries working in collaboration with 225 partners. As part of an international family reaching a total of 4,5 million members worldwide, Special Olympics Turkey aims to support special children’s integration into the society.
EMU Rector Prof. Dr. Necdet Osam also delivered an opening address during which he stated the importance of 19 May. Putting forth that within the framework of the university’s policy on the provision of community services, Eastern Mediterranean University spends its best efforts in taking part in projects focusing on special education. Prof. Dr. Osam also highlighted the importance of special concepts such as solidarity, friendship and values, and expressed his hope on the formation of new friendships within the framework of Special Olympics Unify Project.
Dilek Sabancı Visited EMU Rector Prof. Dr. Osam
Following the opening ceremony, Special Olympics Turkey Honorary Chair Dr. Dilek Sabancı, Special Olympics Turkey Executive Board Chair Mehmet Civelek and the team of officials and press representatives paid a visit of courtesy to EMU Rector Prof. Dr. Necdet Osam. Extending their happiness in carrying out this special organisation in the TRNC, Sabancı and Civelek also expressed their willingness to hold bigger joint projects with EMU. Sabancı further added that with its special qualities, Eastern Mediterranean University is an institution setting samples for universities within Turkey. Prof. Dr. Osam highlighted the importance of humanistic values and added that EMU is always ready to support the community as well as people with special needs in every way.