On Saturday 12 November 2022, the Faculty of Education hosted the 13th MAT National Games. MATP is the youngest sport programme of the Special Olympics. The acronym MATP is derived from the American acronym Motor Activities Training Programme. The MATP programme allows people who, due to severe and profound intellectual disabilities and other associated disabilities such as autism, sensory sensitivities, epilepsy, motor disabilities, are unable to participate in sports programmes that require understanding of the instructions and rules, to participate in sports activities.
The MATP National Games are a good example of good cooperation between the host, the Faculty of Education in Ljubljana, and the organizer, the Janez Levec Centre Ljubljana.
31 teams from all over Slovenia took part in the games. The 120 athletes, aged 7-65, were accompanied by 85 chaperones. Most of the employees from the Janez Levec Centre in Jarše and 60 students from the 2nd and 3rd year of the Special and Rehabilitation Pedagogy (SRP) programme took part in the competition. The MATP programme was taught theoretically during the lectures, and through the national games, practical competences were acquired.
“I think it is very important that we include people with disabilities in sport and that they have the opportunity to show their abilities,” said one of the students from the SRP department who helped as a volunteer at the event.
Such an event would not have been possible without the awareness of the management of the Faculty of Education, who understood the importance of these games for students with disabilities and allowed the use of all the necessary facilities for the sports event.