Jul 6, 2020

Supporting athletes through these unusual times

2020 has been an unusual time for all of us as Covid-19 (coronavirus) has swept across the world. With restrictions on movement and lockdowns imposed in many nations we have seen many day to day activities - meeting friends and families, going to work, leisure time and more disrupted or sometimes not possible at all. 

Virtus supports more than 500,000 athletes around the world and most have been unable to train in their regular facilities, meet the coaches or with their clubs and of course competition has been cancelled or postponed almost everywhere. 

Throughout the pandemic Virtus has continued to support our member organisations and athletes through greater online services. This has included regular consultation meetings, videos of athletes training at home such as this great one from athlete ambassador Lenine Cunha. 

In the coming weeks we will also be launching new online events and 'virtual' competitions and we have been working on our strategic priorities for the 2021-2024 and are excited to be launching these shortly. 

Although we have cancelled all events in 2020 we continue to prepare for a full competition programe next year. We remain cautious and will be working closely with governments and health authorities to ensure the safety of athletes and participants - but are convinced that sport will play a vital role in the health, social and economic recovery in the years ahead. 

Unfortunately Virtus does not qualify for government funding or the financial support that has been made available to some not-for-profit organisations during the pandemic. Your help - following us on social media, sharing our stories and updates, donations and assistance - have been all the more appreicated during this difficult period and now more than ever we would like to thankyou for your support. 

However you have been affected by the current pandemic, we hope that the weeks ahead see a return to more normal times and please continue to visit our website and follow our social media as we bring updates and plans for the future. 

With best wishes to all Virtus supporters everywhere. 

Mar 4, 2020

Looking ahead to 2020 competition

2020 Virtus World Indoor Athletics - Poland
2020 Virtus World Indoor Athletics - Poland

Whilst for many the highlight of 2020 will undoubtedly be the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, for another group of athletes the year marks the start of the new four-year event cycle that will culminate in the 2023 Virtus Global Games. Its a year when we often see many new athletes entering competition for the first time, as they begin their journey towards international success.

Our competition year began in February with the Virtus World Indoor Athletics Championships in Poland which saw a number of world records falling, whilst later in the year the worlds best tennis players with an intellectual impairment will take to the court in Belgium. However, like many sporting organisations, our plans have been affected by the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak forcing the postponement of the European Winter Games (due to have been held in Italy) until the end of year. 

'Supporting Champions' aims to help more athletes with an intellectual impairment achieve international success. Now is a great time to get behind the project as the stars of the future begin their journey. As a reminder of what is at stake, please take a few moments to watch the highlights of the last Global Games held in Brisbane last October (link below). 

We appreciate everyone who has supported this project as we work towards our target - please do visit our website where you can read about the athletes we support in their quest for international glory. 

Links:

Dec 5, 2019

Introducing our new brand

Welcome to all our supporters. 

2019 has been extremely exciting year for our organisation as we continue to set new records and standards - more athletes are now registered with us, from more nations and in more sports than ever before. The 5th Global Games, which took place in October in Brisbane - Australia, set a new standard for our event programme with 10 sports livestreamed to a global audience for the very first time. 

We saw some incredible performances during the week-long competition, with more than 800 athletes from 50 nations taking part. 

The Games also saw us launch our new brand. After more than 30 years as INAS, we are now 'Virtus - World Intellectual Impairment Sport'.

This fresh look comes with a new set of values that define the athletes we serve and where we fit in the global sporting landscape: 

Athlete values

Our new athlete values define the people we serve, guiding and inspiring us in our work to build high performance sport for people with intellectual impairments.

  • Character

Athletes display incredible strength of character both on and off the field of play. They work hard, overcome set-backs and never give-up. They are important ambassadors for sport for people with intellectual impairments, showing others what can be achieved and breaking down barriers.

  • Excellence

Athletes strive to reach the top of the podium, to improve themselves and their performances with every sprint, swim, throw, shot and move. Through this they change perceptions and push the boundaries of what was previously thought possible.

  • Courage

It takes great courage to train and perform, to put yourself and your body on the line to reach the best in your sport. With their immense achievements, athletes change perceptions.

  • Integrity

Athletes with integrity play honestly and fairly, always respecting the rules and results.

Our role

  • Promotes

We strive to ensure that as many people as possible know about high performance sports for athletes with intellectual impairments and the opportunities that exist to compete at an international level.

We also aim to ensure that everyone is aware of the amazing achievements of the athletes, so that they can enjoy better support and recognition.

  • Advocates

We ensure that the rights of athletes with intellectual impairments are recognised and considered in the global sports landscape.

We also work with sports governing bodies to ensure athletes with intellectual impairments have the opportunity to compete under their banner.

  • Governs

We oversee the development and growth of elite sport for people with intellectual impairments at the highest level. This includes setting rules and ensuring fair play in areas such as anti-doping.

  • Organises

We work with our member countries to organise major international events for athletes with intellectual impairments such as world and regional Championships in 14 sports, supported by global governing bodies. This ensures athletes can compete regularly at the highest levels against the best in the world.

We also take care of eligibility, ensuring that those athletes who compete at our events have a recognised impairment. For some, this is their first step towards the Paralympic Games. Our role for eligibility also includes training and education for national officers so that countries can develop their own pool of competitors.

Looking ahead...

But we still need your help. For every athlete that competed at Brisbane 2019 there are thousands more who do not have the chance to do sport for themselves, let alone reach the highest levels.

Please consider supporting our Global Athlete Foundation or share this story with friends and family.

 
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