Special Olympics is a global organization that allows more than 3.4 million athletes with intellectual disabilities to participate in sport. The Power of Sport has allowed hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches to positively affect the lives of people with intellectual disabilities each year since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968.
Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. This mission allows people affected by disabilities to get continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship. All Special Olympics activities - at the local, state, national and international levels - reflect the values, standards, ceremonies and events of the Olympic movement. Finally, most Special Olympics activities are run by local volunteers, in order to create greater awareness among people about intellectual disabilities.
Bharat has so far drawn over 37000 coaches to work with over 750234 athletes across 31 State Programs. India being designated a Priority Nation by Special Olympics International, the goal is to extend the Special Olympics programme throughout the country and reach over 1,000,000 people with Intellectual Disability by end 2012.
Through the Athlete Leadership Programmes (ALPs) athletes can explore opportunities for greater participation in our movement beyond sports training and competition: as coaches, officials, team captains, spokespeople and Board and committee members. These leadership roles allow athletes to speak persuasively; interview with the media; mentor and speak up for other athletes; discuss their opinions on policy and governance; analyze financial reports; and research and prepare for fundraising events.
Initiatives like Healthy Athletes programme help athletes to improve their training and competition by focusing on overall health and fitness. This is achieved through basic health screenings, provision of preventative and some treatment services, educational information, and referrals for follow-up care.
Special Olympics Unified Sports brings together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to train and compete on the same team. Throughout the year, in a variety of sports ranging from basketball to golf to fig u re skating, Unified Sports athletes improve their physical fitness, sharpen their skills, challenge the competition and have fun, too.
A part of the worldwide movement to empower those with special abilities through the medium of sport, Special Olympics Bharat as Australian Sports Outreach Programme (ASOP) India partner will not only empower through sport, but also change attitudes and help build communities.
As ASOP-Award India Partner, Special Olympics Bharat will Engage and Reward the lives of the motivated young people who are a part of the Special Olympics movement in India. In the first year of operations, Special Olympics Bharat and Award National Team will identify key young leaders within SO Bharat to engage in the International Award and then build participation after a year long pilot.
- Content taken from Special Olympics Website and Special Olympics Bharat website