Tag Archives: EU-funded “Pilot initiative to promote inclusive approaches to engaging children with disabilities in society”

ARS_2748_On 23 March, EU Ambassador Piotr Świtalski inaugurated the EU-funded “Pilot initiative to promote inclusive approaches to engaging children with disabilities in society”. The event took place at Ashotsk Ski Centre, established within the frames another EU-funded project in the beginning of this year. The EU is strongly committed to promoting inclusive winter and summer sports that are accessible to all Armenians. Following the formal opening, Ambassador Świtalski participated in cross-country skiing training with children. The skiing trails were prepared by a snow grooming machine procured by the project that will allow for the expansion of the professional skiing area and the preparation of a dedicated area for recreational activities for children with disabilities at the ski centre.

ARS_2838_The Ambassador thanked everyone for coming and highlighted the importance of the project: “Today is a special occasion. We are introducing a project to engage people with disabilities, especially children, in winter sports. The EU would like to promote Ashotsk as a ski centre for ordinary people, a place where everybody, including people with disabilities, can come and enjoy winter sports. It is the end of March, but we can still see plenty of snow. It is an asset which should be used by Armenians! Our partners in this project are playing a very important role in promoting winter sports for people with disabilities. The machine which was procured through this project is very important, as people with disabilities need well-prepared tracks. I hope that young Armenians will win a lot of medals in the future, including at the Paralympic Games”.

The projectis aimed to promote outdoor activities and a healthy lifestyle among children with different types of disability in Armenia, as well as raise awareness of adaptive snow sports available for people with disabilities at Ashotsk and other ski centres in Armenia. The overall goal is to improve the quality of life and social inclusion of children living with disabilities. The project includes three pilot activities: alpine and cross-country skiing sessions for children with disabilities from different regions of Armenia at Ashotsk and Tsakhadzor resorts (attended by over 100 children and accompanying specialists and volunteers); a boccia (a popular ball sport for people with disabilities) competition involving children from 7 marzes of Armenia; a 4-day summer sports camp at Lake Sevan for children and young people with disabilities.

ARS_2588_As part of the project, the Armenian Ski Federation has procured snow-grooming equipment (Ratrak) to flatten snow and prepare specialised skiing tracks for children with disabilities. Ratrak is a unique machine that prepares specialised pistes for sitskiing, ski walking, and other winter recreation activities for children with disabilities. The project is implemented by the Coalition for Inclusive Legal Reforms, represented by its member organisation specialising in promoting disabled sports – Armenian Camp: Language and Sailing School NGO, and the Armenian Ski Federation. The project has a 9-month duration and a total budget of €47,900, of which the EU contribution is €44,900.