The sessions were designed to help provide them with the skills and confidence to use football to promote tolerance and inclusion in local schools and communities.
More than 13 million people in China have an intellectual disability and integrating into mainstream society can sometimes be an uphill struggle.
With support from Cityzens Giving and SAP, Young Leaders in Beijing support children with and without intellectual disabilities, delivering unified football programmes in schools to help break down barriers, build friendships and create an inclusive environment for all children.
Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions this year, the training was fully digitised and extended to Special Olympics young leaders across Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Macau, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, South Korea and Mongolia.
During the week-long training programme, City in the Community coaches in Manchester delivered a series of interactive sessions on female football participation, mental health, communication and leadership to give young leaders the know-how to use football as a tool to promote inclusion for children of all abilities.
As part of SAP’s ongoing support, we were delighted to welcome Jody Yang, Location Head of SAP S/4 HANA at SAP China, to the training for a conversation with young leaders about her leadership journey in technology, role models, teamwork and motivating others.
Xu Wenwen, Special Olympics Young Leader, said: “This training has been incredibly helpful for me, especially as we look to grow the number of young girls taking part in our programme.
"The City coaches taught us about leadership and women's football coaching, including ways to overcome the barriers to female participation. I was also inspired to hear from Jody at SAP. As a successful female technology leader who is passionate about sports, Jody shared her leadership journey and career experience with us, which was very beneficial to me as a woman.
"She talked about the role one of her PE teachers played on that journey, which really motivated me because I am also a PE teacher and believe football can really help children with intellectual disabilities.”
To date, young leaders have positively impacted the lives of over 1,200 children in Beijing, with 100% of participants reporting they are more resilient and happier, and 95% reporting increased confidence about taking part.
Cityzens Giving empowers young leaders in 27 cities around the world to tackle local social issues in their communities through the power of football.
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