In the 1960s, people with intellectual disabilities were routinely shut away in institutions. Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver opened the doors to health, new skills and success through sports.
In the 1960s, people with intellectual disabilities were routinely shut away in institutions. Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver opened the doors to health, new skills and success - through sports.
History of Special Olympics
The Special Olympics movement was founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the sister of
President John F Kennedy, who believed that the Olympic ideals of sport could give confidence and new hope to people with intellectual disabilities as well as to those who cared for them. Special Olympics now reach over 2.5 million athletes in 160 countries worldwide.
Special Olympics offers a lifetime of learning through sport and benefits individuals of all ages and ability levels – from those with low motor abilities to highly skilled athletes. Special Olympics Great Britain (SOGB) was established in 1978 as part of the global Special Olympics Movement. Special Olympics Great Britain has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of people through sport. There are currently 150 Special Olympics clubs in Great Britain, run by over 4,000 volunteers, and involving 10,000 athletes who benefit from our sports programme.
We are a recognised member of the Olympic family with a unique role to play. The Paralympics provides sports competitions for elite level disabled athletes with physical and sensory disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, while Special Olympics fosters community sport year-round at all levels for those with intellectual disabilities.
You can visit the Special Olympics Great Britain website here specialolympicsgb.org.uk/
Special Olympics Surrey was founded in 2007 by Sue Frett
Sue approached The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Sport and Leisure Team, to request their support to get Special Olympics Surrey off of the ground. Sue's passion to advocate for disabled people stems from her son Jonathan, who contracted measles when he was 13 months old, which went very wrong. The manager at the time, Sandie Barker, saw this as an excellent opportunity to encourage disabled people to become involved in sport. Sandie and Sue successfully recruited a Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and Sports Instructors to form a committee, and on the 4th September 2007 Special Olympics Surrey was launched.
Special Olympics Surrey aims to:
Provide quality sports training 48 weeks in each year to encourage fitness, commitment and discipline through sport.
Provide quality coaching.
Provide as many Special Olympics athletes with opportunity to participate, train and compete in as wide a variety of sports and events as possible.
Help athletes develop social skills and build friendships through the interaction and team spirit of their sports training and competition.
Provide athletes with the experience of new cultures when travelling abroad.
Encourage athletes to compete and participate rather than have an emphasis on winning.
Promote the inclusion of people with an intellectual disability in mainstream sport.