The 5th encounter “More than Tennis” brings together a hundred tennis players from Special Olympics

The 5th edition of the event “More than Tennis” was celebrated in Manacor, Mallorca, from the 8th to the 10th of November. The tournament, promoted by Rafa Nadal Foundation and Special Olympics Spain, aims to encourage the inclusion, recognition and equality of people with intellectual disability through sports. A hundred young tennis players from Special Olympics have taken part in the event. These participants came from different Spanish regions as well as from Italy and Hungary, guest countries in this edition.

The tournament was held at the facilities of Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar and consisted of an individual competition as well as a unified doubles exhibition, where each team was formed by an athlete with disability and another with no disability. There were around 140 people participating in the event: near 90 were athletes with intellectual disability and unified athletes and the rest were coaches and representatives.

This initiative aims to support the inclusion of people with intellectual disability in society, to improve their quality of life, to promote teamwork and to favor relations with others. Ana María Parera, Rafa Nadal Foundation’s president, encouraged the participants to make the most of this experience, “not just striving in the court, but also enjoying together with your mates and learning from each other”.

Enric Blesa, director of Special Olympics Spain, states that this encounter means, for the athletes, “to put into practice all the learning achievements they have gained during the year. Additionally, we are specially working in their social integration, one of the main objectives of the sport program”. As for the president of the entity, Miguel Sagarra, “it is an honor the Rafa Nadal Foundation trusted us to launch the schools for More than Tennis, a program that has been running for nine years already”.