Special Olympics is a global organisation that provides year-round sports training and competition to over five million children and adults with intellectual disabilities in over 170 countries. The Special Olympics movement is recognised by the International Olympic Committee as the third member of the Olympic family but, unlike Paralympics which is for elite sportspeople with disabilities, Special Olympics is for all abilities and all ages. Just like the Olympics, World Games are held every four years. It was founded 50 years ago in America by Eunice Kennedy, sister of JFK. They had a sister with learning disabilities and Eunice saw sport as a great way to unite people from all walks of life.  She set up Special Olympics to give people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to realise their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience friendship and the spirit of fair competition.

Special Olympics Great Britain (GB) provides year-round sports coaching and athletic competition in summer and winter sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of skills, gifts and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. Through around 150 accredited programmes in England, Scotland and Wales, we provide coaching and competition opportunities in 28 sports. These programmes are run by over 4,000 volunteers, who support thousands of athletes with intellectual disabilities to take part in our sport programme. The work of Special Olympics is currently 100% funded by individual, trust and corporate donations so your support is crucial enabling us to transform the lives of more than 1.5m children and adults with intellectual disabilities. 

SOGB transforms lives through sport, providing opportunities, make lasting friendships and develop new skills. Everyone can get involved with SOGB as an athlete, parent or volunteer. Special Olympics Great Britain 2019 World Summer Games consists of 128 athletes and 52 volunteers competing across 17 sports. For more information visit www.SpecialOlympicsGB.org.uk.

Waveney Gymnastics club works in partnership with Special Olympics Norfolk and Suffolk. For more information about volunteering or taking part in the Special Olympics programme, please contact Ellen (the club’s inclusive coordinator) at the gym club.