Eight of the 10 Special Olympics Serbia athletes signing their forms ©Special Olympics Serbia

Special Olympics Serbia has given a stipend of $11,000 (£9,000/€10,000) to 10 of its athletes, who had top sporting achievements over the past year.

Under social distancing measures, athletes received the grants after officially signing their papers.

The funding programme has now been running for 10 years.

One of the recipients, Dragana Vuksan, said: "It makes me very happy and blessed to be given this opportunity as a Special Olympics Serbia athlete. 

"This shows that all the hard work and hours in the sports hall have been worth it. 

"I want to tell all my friends to continue training hard and give it 100 per cent."

The other athletes awarded this year were Filp Bartole, Marko Malbasic, Aleks Karamani, Zoran Radanov, Milos Dokic, David Petrov, Radmila Miric, Vesna Konstadinov and Sanja Ristic.

Aleksandar Stanojevic, Special Olympics Serbia's national director, said: "For us as a sports organisation and for our athletes, it is of great importance to be recognised this way by our national Ministry of Youth and Sports.

"For our athletes to be up there with all the best men and women in the world of sports in our country is hugely significant.

"Over the past ten years, Special Olympics Serbia and the Ministry of Youth and Sports have developed a viable and dynamic partnership that provides persons with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to participate in high level sports and be recognised for their achievements."