Taking in the atmosphere of the National Games Berlin 2022, feeling the fascination of the Special Olympics and experiencing Germany's biggest inclusive sports event up close - that's what the "Fans In The Stands" program is all about.
More than 80 teams, small and large groups, and nearly 1,800 fans in total are cheering with the "Fans in the Stands"at the National Games in Berlin.
The educational "Fans In The Stands" program is free and allows groups of at least 10 people from schools, universities, clubs and businesses across Germany free entry to all competitions.
Lejla Terovic is in charge of the largest group. With 66 children and educators, her team travels from the Berlin district of Wilmersdorf. "We became aware of Special Olympics through the parents of a girl in one of the groups," says Lejla.
"All of us - children and educators - were immediately enthusiastic and agreed to participate. We all like to be out and about and discover new things. Diversity is also an important theme in our everyday life."
The smallest group comes with 6 fans from the Berlin University of Applied Management in Charlottenburg to watch the Badminton and Judo competitions together at Messe Berlin.
"We are very happy about the great response to our fan program," says Sophie Alberti, who is in charge of the program together with Georgia Royes from the World Games team.
"A good 60 percent of the groups are school classes, 15 percent are clubs and 13 percent of the groups come from institutions for people with intellectual disabilities such as sheltered workshops. We wish everyone good encounters and wonderful experiences - very close to this inclusive sports event!"
In the spirit of inclusion - the fan team decides together where to go and which competitions to attend and which sports are favored. The "team captain" also gets access to the Special Olympics digital learning platform with info videos and ideas for further activities.
Are you a group and want to be part of it? Then save the date for 17 - 25 June 2023! During that period, the Special Olympics World Games take place in Berlin. All information about the "Fans In The Stands" program will be available on our website soon.