Special Olympics Great Britain has chosen Active Nation to introduce a new programme in the Solent area – expanding their activity in the Southern region.

Special Olympics Great Britain’s mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic sporting disciplines, for all children and adults with intellectual [learning] disabilities, giving them opportunities to develop their physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in sharing skills, gifts and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. This is all delivered through Special Olympics GB programmes, like the latest Special Olympics Solent Network, led and delivered by Active Nation.

Already, the global Special Olympics movement reaches more than 4 million athletes in over than 170 countries worldwide, with 10,000 athletes and 4,000 volunteers in 140 clubs across Great Britain alone. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of the late President John F Kennedy, Special Olympics is recognised by the International Olympic Committee [IOC] as a member of the Olympic family. It is the only sports organisation authorised by the IOC to use the word ‘Olympics’ in its title.

Active Nation’s Partnership Team has been working with Special Olympics GB over the last four months to identify the provision for disabled people within Southampton and its surrounding areas. Active Nation’s existing ActiveAbility Programme, already the local trailblazer when it comes to disability in sport, focuses primarily on grass roots activity and bespoke groups. Now this newest partnership with Special Olympics GB will allow Active Nation to uncover sporting talent and opportunities for participants to grow, compete and become an athlete too.

Max Bradbury-Knight is leading the project at Active Nation. He said: “As the lead organisation for Special Olympics Solent, we are passionate about providing sports and activities to those with an intellectual disability.

“Our role is to organise and develop sports coaching in local areas on a regular basis, in parallel with the ongoing programmes we already run across Southampton.

“This new partnership will allow us to stage local and regional events, allowing disabled children and adults to prosper in their ability and breakthrough new heights, allowing them to qualify for higher levels of competition.”

Karen Wallin, Special Olympics Great Britain’s CEO, added: “We are delighted to partner with Active Nation to introduce this programme for our charity in the Solent area, in order expand our reach in the Southern region.  Special Olympics GB wants to give our athletes the platform to achieve their personal best and maximum potential. I am thrilled many more people with intellectual disability in the Solent area will now have this opportunity.”

Throughout the partnership Active Nation are pleased to be able to offer participants:

>>    Quality sports coaching 48 weeks per year to encourage fitness, commitment and discipline through sport

>>    Recognition and development and an opportunity to participate, train and compete in a wide variety of sports and events

>>    Help in developing social skills and friendships, built through the interaction and team spirit of their sports training and competition

>>    Experience of new cultures when travelling abroad

>>    The opportunity to compete and participate for the fun of it too, rather than focus on winning

>>    Inclusion of people with an intellectual [learning] disability in mainstream sport.

Anyone wishing to get involved should contact [email protected]