Supporting Champions!

by International Federation for Intellectual Impairment Sport (INAS)
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Supporting Champions!
Supporting Champions!
Supporting Champions!
Supporting Champions!
Supporting Champions!
Supporting Champions!
Supporting Champions!
Supporting Champions!
Supporting Champions!
Supporting Champions!
Supporting Champions!
Supporting Champions!
Supporting Champions!
Supporting Champions!
Supporting Champions!
Supporting Champions!
Supporting Champions!

A series of female athletes are being celebrated online to mark the International Day of Sport for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments (IDSAII) on Thursday (20 September).

The theme for this year’s IDSAII is firmly rooted in the INAS #WeAreSport campaign to encourage more female athletes to use social media.

By the end of September, 10 swimmers, track and field stars, tennis and table tennis #SportChampions will have taken part in seminars to give them the tools and knowledge to improve their digital presence. They have all been supported by administrators from within their INAS member organisations, ensuring the project can be spread to other athletes in the long term.

INAS is the International Federation for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments and, for one week starting on 20 September, will publish athlete stories on and graphics featuring their social media handles to help build the following of the participants.

INAS has also published guides to setting-up and using social media in different languages on a dedicated section of its website for all athletes and members to access.

INAS Vice President Robyn Smith has been involved in the campaign as a firm advocate of women in sport.

“The athletes in #WeAreSport range from those just starting out to experienced Paralympians and world champions in a variety of sports,” Smith said. “But not all of them were getting the full potential from social media.

“We knew that we had to do something about the smaller numbers of women and girls with intellectual impairments taking up sport compared to boys and men. Social media seemed like a good place to start as it is accessible to billions of people around the world.

“We had a great response from the athletes and administrators involved. Many went away and immediately started using the ideas they had heard to set-up accounts on platforms they had not previously used, or posting different kinds of content to grow their fanbase.

“We have been delighted with the response and plan to grow the reach of #WeAreSport into the future, including at the INAS Global Games which Australia will host in Brisbane in 2019.”

One of the athletes to take part was US swimmer and Paralympian Leslie Cichocki.

Cichocki said she liked the fact that the sessions were a way of “getting more women involved in sports and having their voices and experiences heard.”

Egypt’s Rahma Khaled also took the aim of #WeAreSport firmly to heart: “I feel more confident, because I saw a new world and [I want] to help other people to become champions,” she said.

Stephanie Pitchian from the Singapore Disability Sports Council is helping swimmer Danielle Moi Yang Ting with her social media. Pitchian said that as a result of the campaign she feels more confident in supporting Moi Yang Ting online.

“She comes to me with different post ideas and she shares with me on how it would be engaging her followers,” Pitchian said.

Since the first wave of #SportChampions were announced in March on International Women’s Day, a further three athletes and three administrators have joined. That brings the total to 10 athletes from nine countries.

We want to support many more women and girls with an intellectual impairment - get behind our crowndfund campaign to help us find more champions like Leslie, Danielle and Rahma! 

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Dear Supporters

Welcome from everyone at INAS. 

At this time of year were busy making the final preparations for our upcoming competitions. Each year we organise some 10-14 international championships at world and regional level across our programme of 14 sports.  

In just a few weeks, the INAS European Summer Games will open - a large multi-sport event taking place in Paris, France featuring athleics, swimming, table tennis, basketball, tennis, rowing and more, and then in August, the INAS World Football Championships in Sweden, with 9 of the best teams from around the world battling it out for the prize of World Football Champions.

INAS manages compeition for the worlds best athletes with an intellectual impairment, but despite their immense talent, few receive financial support towards the cost of entry and travel.

It was with this in mind that, earlier this year, we launched "Supporting Champions" - a project to etsablish a bursary/support scheme for those athletes who need it the most - and we've been amazed at the fantastic support we have already received. This last month marked an important milestone as we passed the 25% mark raised towards the total project budget of £20,000 - and we would like to thank all our supporters for their generosity.

As we head into our events programme we have lots of ideas and plans to promote "Supporting Champions" and, as an incentive, we'll be giving out our first grant awards when we hit the 50% mark. 

You can help us by promoting this exciting opportunity to friends and family who perhaps have not supported us yet. Simply send an email, post it to your facebook or twitter or talk about us... our website is and you can find lots of information about what we do and why it is so important to support us. 

Thankyou for reading and we look forward to bringing you our next update in a few weeks time.  


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Organization Information

International Federation for Intellectual Impairment Sport (INAS)

Location: Sheffield - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @SPORTVirtus
Project Leader:
Nick Parr
Sheffield, United Kingdom
$6,459 raised of $25,000 goal
67 donations
$18,541 to go
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