The German national mixed team comes across the same village!

The assistant coach of the Joint German basketball team of Special Olympics, Martin Hoetzl, playing basketball at an early age. Initially the group was playing in his village, located near Nuremberg. Then in 1998 he met his German basketball team of Special Olympics that came from the place and started playing with them as a partner. So when he was given the choice, one year later (1999), to choose between military service and civilian service, chose to offer social services to home for people with intellectual disabilities living in the athletes group. And there remained no longer working as a social worker.

Participation in team literally changed their lives. Initially the concept: “By the time I started playing for the team of special Olympics I watched the sport of basketball as other players of the team played until then. We were all very competitive, we did not like to lose, and lose points when irritated. Each group was for herself and aloof from the others. Once they started playing as a partner in the mixed group, I discovered what real sport. In this group were all together. In games played, all players, all teams were together and everyone was friendly with everyone. This experience completely changed my idea I had for the sport. I found that has nothing to do with yourself but with your team and your teammates. I could no longer be angry as a partner and react strongly because it affected the psychology of others. I had to learn to control myself, to become more team player and watching other athletes. ”

Apart from the perception, his life changed when, through his participation in the group knew and the woman’s life! “During the selection of the team for Germany’s participation in Special Olympics in Shanghai, had to settle various issues with the Central Committee of Germany for the Special Olympics. As a coach exchanged almost daily emails to the responsible office of the German committee (head office manager). After nearly a year Messaging decided to finally meet and near the stadium. Fell in love before we got married two years. ”

The German team of Special Olympics consist of 10 players, 5 male and 5 partners. The athletes are all from the outbreak in which works by Martin, as the team is by far the best in Germany.The partners come from the same village (near Nuremberg) and especially from the local school. With the basketball team of the school cooperates home and plays basketball every Monday.Students 14-18 years old against athletes with intellectual disabilities, where everyone teaches everyone, and sometimes students do not play basketball as good as the athletes of the outbreak. The German team of Special Olympics practiced twice a week since January and two weekends a month are all-day intensive training. Participates in international competitions since 1998 and this year’s participation in the Games in Athens is the fourth. They get a gold in the first group in the Special Olympics 2007 in Shanghai. For some of the athletes is their first participation, and for some it is the third.

“The athletes of the team always want to win. Are used by Germany as the best of all teams and dominate in all games, so have not learned to lose. There is more relaxed. In Games in Athens and saw the defeat. When not win but lose patience, get angry and sometimes quarrel among themselves, even athletes with partners. Then come between them to calm them and remind them that the games are mostly for fun. They also point out that it is important to learn to lose. It’s part of life, “he told Martin. He added that the players are anxious to games, just be nervous and enthusiastic, and are better in training, since the pitch to distract attention from the music and the crowd.

“We are honored to play in the same space that held the Olympic Games in 2004. The facility is huge and very nice, “said Martin Hoetzl. “The organization of the games, but basketball was problematic,” complained Cillian Newton, partner in the national joint German team. “The first day we had no qualification matches had come all the teams, so we slapped on a group that represented a level between the teams had played and would be the first group. The next day, we normally do not match, came four other teams and we are called to be banned. Also, while it was scheduled to play normal game that day, suddenly one hour before we learn that we must play. This greatly influenced our psychology, because we were not prepared, so we lost. While we are not accustomed to losing! On Wednesday again changed everything and they put us in a new group and now play in the third category.This is not a good organization, but at least we’re happy with the new classification. We know that the responsibility for this lies with the two foreigners who make their groups and not the Greek side of hosting the Games. ”

The Cillian Newton, 20 years old, is the son of the coach of the German joint team Special Olympics. Thus grew up in this area.From a young age watching the workouts and team events as a spectator and liked very much. He dreamed of one day to play him, as partner. Once he finished school he was given the opportunity and is now the team since 2008. Participated in the Pan-European in Poland in 2010. Playing in all positions according to their needs but ensures that passes the ball to shoot the athletes Special Olympics. Works as a trainee in focus for people with intellectual disabilities and think maybe in the future to become a social worker. He believes that in Germany the society is not yet sufficiently familiar with the term intellectual disability in general and people with disabilities. “There are still many prejudices. The word «Behinderter” (disabled) is actually a curse. You should not call them disabled. They can not do something about it that is. Thus was born! “And we arrange to transfer the experiences of friends and acquaintances to learn too.

The Florian Mueller, 17 years, Special Olympics Athlete of the Joint National Team of Germany, has yet to focus and train the team. It is one of the youngest athletes of the team and hopes to play even for years. It also plays football but prefers basketball.Make friends with several of the athletes of the team, but not all, as he said. He complained that the referees do not stop the clock when you are shooting a foul. “Also in Germany the referees whistle more often foul. Are more stringent than here, “adds Cillian.By Florian love Greece, Athens and the sea, especially the waves.It’s his first time at sea and seemed quite cold. He has already put two baskets in the games in Athens and plays as a regional group.

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