#SMILE Christmas training in Bulgaria

On December 19, 2022, a Christmas practice of the adapted basketball team was held at the Vasil Levski National Sports Academy, during which the athletes had the opportunity to practice in Christmas spirit and clothing. The event put a positive end to the weekly training in 2022 and with many gifts and positive emotions, the athletes celebrated a very successful year in which they had opportunities to compete with teams from Bulgaria and abroad. A special guest at the holiday training was the US Ambassador H.E. Hero Mustafa, who joined the practice, congratulated the team and surprised them with gifts.

In “The Team”, as its creators Assoc. Prof. Stefka Jobova and Assoc. Prof. Mariana Borukova call it, nothing is impossible. There are endless undiscovered opportunities for sports and personal development. Starting with eight young people with intellectual disabilities, in just 3 years the initiative has grown to a team of over 40 athletes. Training and competitions are possible only with the help of their sports partners – the students from NSA with “Basketball” and “Adapted Physical Activity” majors, as well as with the support of the Bulgarian sports development association, which has supported the initiative from the very beginning.

In 2023, the team already has several planned international appearances, including a sporting event that is going to take place in Croatia in April 2023. The three-day multisport event is going to be implemented within the framework of the Sport, Motivation, Inclusion, Leadership, Engagement – #SMILE initiative, co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, which aims to analyse the link between sport and inclusion in an innovative and different way – by ensuring international participation in sport activities of persons with intellectual disabilities.

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