Maccabi Tel Aviv Football Club Foundation and ‘Special Olympics Israel’ are continuing their partnership to promote greater inclusion and raise public awareness about people with intellectual disabilities through athletic competition and other related programs.

By continuing to partner with Special Olympics, Maccabi Tel Aviv FC joins leading international football clubs such as Ajax Amsterdam, Inter Milan, Tottenham Hotspur and Celtic as a Team Ambassador. By taking up the role of a Team Ambassador, Maccabi Tel Aviv FC promoting inclusion, while generating greater public awareness and acceptance for people with intellectual disabilities. Amongst other things, Maccabi Tel Aviv FC Foundation and Special Olympics will give these athletes the opportunity to realize their potential, develop physically, mentally and socially through sports.

Ahead of every Maccabi Tel Aviv home league match, a ‘Special Olympics’ athlete will be presented with the Foundation’s Medallion of Honor by the Maccabi captain. The Medallion signifies the value which Maccabi Tel Aviv places on each and every athlete and makes the proud and bold statement attesting to the importance of raising awareness about the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities.

In addition, the “Together as One” Maccabi Foundation bi-weekly training sessions will be conducted by Maccabi Tel Aviv coaches with ‘Special Olympics’ athletes both at the Kiryat Shalom Training Complex and at their centers. The Maccabi players will also take part in the training sessions as special guest instructors and play “Unified” matches with the athletes. After last year’s competition drew over 140 footballers from across the country, Maccabi will also host the Second Annual Special Olympics Tournament once again.

Josh Halickman, Head of the Maccabi Tel Aviv Football Club Foundation, said: “It gives me great pleasure to launch the second season of ‘Special Olympics’ programs as we have moved our activities into high gear for the upcoming campaign. Awarding the Foundation Medallion of Honor, holding the “Together as One” football training sessions and hosting the 2nd Annual National Special Olympics Football Tournament will help continue raise awareness of those with intellectual challenges.”

Daniel Benaim, Chairman of Special Olympics Israel, said: “I would like to thank Maccabi Tel Aviv for partnering with Special Olympics once again as we continue to fulfill the dreams of athletes with intellectual disabilities. I hope that more and more athletes will join the organization’s programs and I am certain that our programs together will continue to expand and further impact the Special Olympics community and beyond.”

About ‘Special Olympics Israel’:
‘Special Olympics Israel’ as part of the ‘Special Olympics international organization’ was founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in the United States. The organization was founded with the belief that people with intellectual disabilities had many talents and gifts to offer and used sports as a common ground to unite people from all walks of life. Special Olympics Israel has over 3,500 athletes participating in 16 sports while more than 4.5 million athletes in 177 countries take part in programming around the globe.

About Maccabi Tel Aviv Football Club Foundation:
The Foundation’s mission is to help make an impact on the larger Israeli society using the positive energy of football to effect the lives of those in our community. The Foundation focusses on three main categories of activities: Youth & Education, Multiculturalism and Social Action.

The Foundation is committed to improving the lives of children from various populations in Israel, merge diverse cultures together and to influence the community as a whole using the power of football. Our vision is to make each and every supporter an active player and ambassador of the Foundation, thereby increasing our impact across the nation.