Within the Rijeka – Healthy City project, the stakeholders providing support to disabled people, in addition to the launched praiseworthy project called the Festival of creativity and achievements of children with developmental disabilities (i-Fest), have also launched the Rijeka sports games for children with developmental disabilities, bearing the abbreviated name iGRE.
The Rijeka sports games for children with developmental disabilities (iGRE) were launched in 2009 within the Rijeka – Healthy City project, which over years have grown into the Educational and sports programme for children and youth owing to which elementary and high school students, members of associations and centres have an opportunity to take part in a number of sports competitions and get necessary information about various sports.
The project was initiated in order to enable children with developmental disabilities to achieve the best possible effect from physical activity, improve their self-confidence, create positive perception, improve sensory abilities, develop independence and assistance in the group, encourage their socialisation and be accepted by society on the whole.
The first seven years of Rijeka sports games were marked by sports and volunteering. The number of children and youth that took part grew year after year so that in 2015, the number of participants grew to 91, from 53 in 2009.
The programme of sports disciplines in which competitors took part was supplemented over time. In seven years, the competitors had an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in shooting through the hoop and in shooting goals, in sports polygons, running, bocce, bowling pin shooting, relay racing, from the third year also in shooting a hockey puck with a stick towards the goal from three different positions and from the seventh year in carrying balls. The participants who take part in the games aged from seven to twenty-one years are divided in three age groups (from 7 to 10, from 11 to 15 and from 16 to 21 years).
As the oath of Special Olympic games states “…Let me win you over. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in my attempt…”, emphasising the ideal of every competitor, and that is what iGRE are about, for the seventh consecutive years, the games have provided an opportunity to children with developmental disabilities to participate. Their personal results also mean their victory.
Several years of experience in organising the games have led to the urge to supplement and widen the project, in which implementation since school year 2015/2016 the Sports federation of disabled people of the city of Rijeka has been actively included.