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Children discuss inclusion through sports in Montenegro’s school parliaments

PLAV, Montenegro, 8 November 2012 - Marijana Goranovic, Montenegro’s Paralympic athlete who won the 7th place at the 2012 Paralympics in London in the shot put discipline, today discussed inclusion in sports with the school parliament in Plav as part of the It’s About Ability campaign.

UNICEF Montenegro / 2012
Paralympics athlete Marijana Goranovic and member of the School Parliament in Primary School ''Hajro Sahmanovic'' in Plav discuss inclusive sports. - UNICEF Montenegro / 2012/ Dusko Miljanic

"My message for the persons with disabilities is to get out from their homes, not to be ashamed of their looks, and to start taking up sports. I have always been surrounded by children, by my peers, and my positive energy and quick fitting in have never created any troubles in the sense of being discriminated," said Marijana Goranović Montenegro’s Paralympic athlete.

Children also know Marijana from the new TV commercial of the It’s About Ability campaign in 2012, but meeting her live was an exciting experience for them.

"An interesting thing I have heard today is that persons with disabilities can accomplish so much at the Olympics,” said Anđela Petrović, member of the school parliament at Primary School Hajro Sahmanovic in Plav.

“I found out that people with disabilities can do what someone without disabilities cannot,” said Damir Niković, Andjela’s schoolmate at Primary School Hajro Sahmanovic.

School parliaments throughout the country will have a chance to learn about the Paralympics and inclusion through sports from Marijana and other prominent Montenegrin young athletes with disability. 

An exhibition showing the photos of these athletes and telling their life stories will be organized in the schools so that all children become acquainted with them.

UNICEF Montenegro / 2012
Members of the School Parliament listening to Paralympics Athlete Marijana Goranovic. - UNICEF Montenegro / 2012/ Dusko Miljanic

“This is one of our first projects of this kind, and it means a lot, especially to the children with disabilities. We at the Paralympics Committee use this kind of meetings to break those barriers, so that kids feel closer to each other,” said General Secretary of Paralympics Committee of Montenegro, Dušan Dragović.

Inclusive sports are a fun way to promote friendship that can benefit all children regardless of their abilities. That is what this campaign is about, promoting friendship between children with and without disabilities from the prejudices of adults according to UNICEF Montenegro Representative Benjamin Perks.

“Every society should try to overcome the barriers that prevent children from having their rights to play, learn, participate in sports fulfilled, particularly children with disability. Marijana is an excellent role model for children with disability and their families. We hope that through her example we can promote the idea that every child and young person with disability should be able to participate in sports,” UNICEF Representative to Montenegro Benjamin Perks concluded.

Presentations on inclusive sports are part of the ongoing It’s About Ability campaign initiated by UNICEF and the Government of Montenegro in 2010 in order to promote equal rights and opportunities for children with disability in Montenegro. 

 

 
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