An added element to the week’s activities will be the staging of the hugely important Special Olympics Young Athletes Program designed for 2 – 7 year olds. This activity is supported by MetLife Foundation, the philanthropic arm of MetLife, Inc., one of the world’s leading insurance companies. MetLife Foundation is providing funding and MetLife is generously supporting Special Olympics through employee engagement as part of the second annual Community Week across its EMEA region. Special Olympics was selected by MetLife as one of its partners for Community Week due to a shared mission to create a more inclusive world for people with intellectual disabilities through our sport and health programs.
As part of the initiative, MetLife staff will leave their offices to volunteer at Special Olympics Young Athletes, Unified Football and other sport events.
Michel Khalaf, MetLife EMEA President and MetLife Foundation Board member, said: “We are delighted to be able to build our partnership with Special Olympics. More than 750 employees in 21 markets across EMEA volunteered last year and told us that they want to do more this year. Community Week offers us all a fantastic opportunity to give something back to the communities we work in.”
These sentiments were echoed by David S. Evangelista, President and Managing Director, Special Olympics Europe Eurasia who outlined the importance of Football Week to the Special Olympics movement: “Special Olympics European Football Week – now in its 17th consecutive year - is a hugely important event on the annual Special Olympics calendar.
“This year we are working to expand Unified Football for boys and girls, by bringing together players with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team, leading to a more inclusive world for everyone. The ongoing success of Football Week is only made possible by the tremendous commitment shown by our Programme leaders, partners such as UEFA and MetLife, football federations and clubs – but most of all the dedication of our athletes.”