It is Germany's largest inclusive municipal project: Far more than 200 communities want to become Host Town of the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023.
The time has come for a new kind of togetherness. For more social participation and recognition of people with disabilities. Even before the flame of the Special Olympics World Games 2023 is lit in Berlin's Olympiastadion, far more than 200 municipalities are shedding light on the Host Town Program 170 Nations - 170 Inclusive Communities: almost 230 municipalities want to get involved as Host Towns and become an integral part of the Special Olympics World Games with numerous inclusive projects.
"The program will give our country a powerful boost for social togetherness. Together with the Special Olympics projects Live and Wir gehören dazu, the Host Town Program is the largest nationwide inclusion project," said Christiane Krajewski, president of Special Olympics Germany. "We are thrilled with the response to the program. Communities will be part of a giant movement for greater participation and engagement of people with disabilities, welcoming delegations from around the world."
The Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 (17-25 June 2023) is the world's largest inclusive sporting event. The Host Town Program 170 Nations - 170 Inclusive Communities is the largest municipal inclusion project in Germany. Two key drivers for nationwide awareness raising - an invitation to everyone to move Germany.
A strong signal of inclusion is sent by the communities and municipalities. A powerful sign of open and respectful togetherness is set for the future.
Delegations from various regions of the world will visit the cities, towns and districts of Germany for four days before the competitions in Berlin to get to know the country and its people. The ten largest German cities want to be there, a total of 12 state capitals as well as three Berlin districts from the federal capital.
Symbolic of the power and possibilities of the Host Towns Program is the joint, cross-border application of several municipalities from the border triangle of Luxembourg, Germany and France, including Schengen, Perl and Apach. Together, cities and communities in the heart of Europe are shaping our society beyond the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023.
"In this way, a strong signal of inclusion is sent by the communities and municipalities. A powerful sign of open and respectful togetherness is set for the future," says Sven Albrecht, CEO of the Local Organizing Committee of the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023, who is looking forward to the start of the Host Town Program.
The program is a unique opportunity. It will create encounters and change attitudes towards people with disabilities. It will contribute to the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Germany, accelerate the formation of sustainable inclusive sports structures and promote social recognition of sports and the performance of people with intellectual disabilities. The Host Town Program gives municipalities the opportunity to build and strengthen primarily inclusive structures and networks that will last beyond the Games.
The Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 are the vehicle, and the communities come on board. The common goal: more participation and a new togetherness.
A list of all communities that applied is available here.