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Germany: Youth training for the Paralympics
The “Youth Training for the Paralympics” competition for schools has been held in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) since 2002. All special schools with an emphasis on physical and motor development are eligible to take part. For the first time in 2010, the competition held in Kamen, NRW, was opened up to participants from all over Germany. Around 130 schoolchildren from nine federal states participated, competing against one another in track and field, swimming, table tennis and junior wheelchair basketball. Thomas Renger, who works at Henkel in Düsseldorf, helped to organize the competition and assisted the youngsters during the meet. It is his hard work, supported by grants from the MIT initiative and other sources, that has enabled the competition to be widened into a nationwide event.
“There were teams from almost every federal state. You could really see that the children enjoyed getting to know and competing against other youngsters of the same age with similar disabilities,” recounted Renger. “I’m pleased and proud that my employer is promoting this important event. The competition opens up new forms of interaction, integration, fairness and friendship among both able-bodied and disabled children.”