Children with intellectual disabilities (which may include Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and other cognitive delays or disabilities) need physical activity just as their typically developing peers do. Sports can help build kids’ confidence and help them get to know other kids in the community. In kids with Down syndrome, in particular, cardiovascular fitness is critical to improved health.
Walking, jogging, riding a stationary bike are all recommended for kids with intellectual disabilities. But there are many, many more sports like hockey, basketball and types of exercise that could work, depending on a kid’s interest and abilities.
To this end, Credit Suisse has inaugurated a special sports facility together with Jai Vakeel Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of intellectually disabled children. The inauguration is part of an annual bank-wide ‘Community School Transformation Day,’ with nearly 1,000 Credit Suisse staff volunteering their time to enhance the learning environment at 5 schools in underprivileged communities in Mumbai (Worli and Powai), Pune and Bengaluru.
The schools include those run by Jai Vakeel and Cochlea, another long-term non-profit partner of Credit Suisse. Around 4,000 students will benefit from the ‘Community School Transformation Day.’
Credit Suisse’s support for Jai Vakeel and its ‘Community School Transformation Day’ are an integral part of the bank’s larger CSR initiatives in India. Through its Pediatric Neurology Medical Camps in rural Maharashtra, Jai Vakeel provides assistance to over 2,300 students each year. The Jai Vakeel sports facility was inaugurated by Mickey Doshi, CEO India, Credit Suisse, with staff from the bank’s Worli office joining students and teachers for a day of interaction and engagement in sports and other recreational activities.
“Jai Vakeel’s new sports facility offers special needs children a safe environment to play and learn, while encouraging social inclusion,” said Doshi.
The indoor portion of the sports facility features soft sports flooring and padded walls, and boasts basketball hoops, badminton nets and football goal posts. The outdoor sports area has over 9,600 square feet of artificial turf that is home to a playground with swings (including some that are wheelchair friendly), slides and seesaws. An outdoor stage for performances has also been created. All spaces are barrier free, safe and accessible for all abilities.