The organisers of the European Athletics Indoor Championships, Atletika 2017 Ltd, have joined forces with “Čep za hendikep” to support the “Cap for Handicap” initiative which came into fruition four years ago.
This initiative was rolled out at the Serbian U20 Indoor Athletics Championships staged this weekend at the Athletics Hall in Belgrade and was actively promoted by local heroine Ivana Spanovic.
Spanovic, who will be looking to defend her European indoor long jump title in the Kombank Arena in March, collected the first caps along with volunteers while all of the participants had a chance to learn more about an initiative which is organised within the context of European Athletics’ Green Inspiration Programme.
Around 60 specifically marked bins for plastic caps - as well as informative posters - will be placed around official sports facilities used during the championships, including the Kombank Arena. Athletes and spectators alike will also be able to make their contribution to the initiative until the final day of the championships on 5 March.
The money raised from recycling plastic bottle caps and tetra paks enables the purchase of orthopaedic supplies to improve the quality of life of disabled people in the Republic of Serbia. The initiative also raises attention to the importance of recycling.
The organisation has so far collected 60 tonnes of caps which has generated the funds to purchase 53 pieces of orthopaedic equipment: 35 wheelchairs, eight walkers, three Scala mobiles, six pairs of crutches and one system for transfer. Fifteen orthopaedic devices were bought in 2016 and the plan for 2017 is to help approximately 30 people with disabilities in the country.
“We believe that with joint forces during the preparations for the championship - as well as during the competition - we will be able to collect a sufficient number of caps and significantly contribute to the initiative ‘Cap for Handicap,’" said Ana Lukovic, Project Manager of the Local Organising Committee.