Let's Learn About...
When you think of inclusive sport and rec programs, often the first one that comes to mind is Special Olympics. 

Unlike the Olympics and Paralympics though, Special Olympics is a year-round multi-sports program for people with an intellectual disability – of all capabilities.

It is a global movement that has been transforming lives for almost 50 years. There are 12 clubs in Victoria, and many more different sports available to play. There are robust competition pathways to international competitions, online learning courses for coaches and volunteers, ways to stay fit and active at home, Facebook groups and so much more. 

So read on, and Let's Learn About Special Olympics Australia. 


Love Sport? Let's learn about... Special Olympics Australia

History of Special Olympics

When people speak of the origin of Special Olympics, they look no further than the first Camp Shriver in Maryland, USA—founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in the early 1960s. They talk of one woman's dream that started in her own backyard. They speak of her vision: how through sports, the lives of people with intellectual disabilities would be transformed and public perceptions would be changed forever.

On 12 April 1976, the global movement would be launched in Australia with activities later that year popping up in Melbourne Inner East (VIC), Kempsey (NSW), Gold Coast (QLD) and Launceston (TAS).

From a backyard summer camp for people with intellectual disabilities to a global movement, Special Olympics has been changing lives and attitudes since 1968.

Their Mission

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type 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 gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success. Special Olympics athletes find joy, confidence and fulfillment - on the playing field and in life. They also inspire people in their communities and elsewhere to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential.
There are as many as 850,000 people with intellectual disabilities around Australia. Special Olympics’ goal is to reach out to every one of them – and their families as well. Special Olympics does this through a wide range of trainings, competitions, health screenings and fund-raising events. They also create opportunities for families, community members, local leaders, businesses, law enforcement, celebrities, dignitaries and others to band together to change attitudes and support athletes.

In Special Olympics, the power and joy of sport shifts focus to what our athletes CAN do, not what they can't. Attention to disabilities fades away. Instead, we see athletes' talents and abilities - and applaud them for all that they can do. And they are doing a lot - from gymnastics to soccer to dancing. With their 18-plus Olympic-style sports, they offer adults and children with intellectual disabilities many ways to be involved in their communities, and many ways to show who they really are.
Special Olympics clubs and activities in Victoria
There are 12 different local Special Olympics clubs across Victoria. From Ballarat, to Echuca, to Dandenong, click here, scroll down, type in your postcode and find your closest club today!

Note that resumption of activity will take place in a staged fashion with an initial phase of small group (<10) activities in a non-contact fashion, from the 27th of June. 
Online Programs
In response to COVID-19, Special Olympics Australia released heaps of online content, to keep people with autism and intellectual disabilities active while they are at home. 

Check them out here

Special Olympics Learn
With SOA Learn, increase your knowledge and confidence, and learn practical strategies to include people with autism in your sport, recreation or physical education practice.

SOA Learn provides a platform designed to help teachers, mentors and coaches improve the delivery of sport and physical activity for people with an intellectual disability and autism. Courses include 'An Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder', 'Improving sport for people with intellectual disability' and more!
Click here for more info. 

Special Olympics Webinars

Join Special Olympics Australia for a series of free webinars: Autism Inclusion in Sport, Recreation and Physical Education. Delivered in partnership with Sport and Recreation Victoria, the series will engage you directly with experts and people with lived experience of autism.

Register for Webinar 2 - Getting To Know Your Participants via Eventbrite.
COVID-19 Update
Resumption of community sport and recreation activity will take place in a staged fashion from the 27th of June, with an initial phase of small group (<10) activities in a non-contact fashion, subject to state health guidelines. 

For more information on how this will look for you, see the Special Olympics Australia Return to Sport Clubhouse
here, and their return to sport plan and guidelines here

How do I get involved?
There are heaps of ways to get more information. See below, and when you are ready, hit the link and sign up!
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Instagram
Watch us on YouTube
Explore our Website
Email us
AAA Play is an initiative supported by the Victorian Government.

Copyright © 2020 Reclink Australia, All rights reserved. 
You are receiving this email because you are or have been an active contributor to the Access for All Abilities program or voluntarily signed up to the AAA Play mailing list.

Our mailing address is: 
Reclink Australia
115B Ferrars Street
South Melbourne, Vic 3205

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can
update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list