Special Olympics Suffolk is affiliated to Special Olympics Great Britain (SOGB).
Special Olympics Great Britain www.specialolympicsgb.org.uk is the UK’s largest provider of year-round sports training and competition for all people with an Intellectual Disability, it was established in 1978.
SOGB is part of the global Special Olympics Movement which was founded in 1968 by the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver (President John F. Kennedy’s sister) – today Special Olympics is in nearly 200 countries with over 3 million registered athletes.
It is recognised as the third member of the “Olympic family” – one of only three organisations who are legally permitted to use the word ‘Olympic’ as part of their title.
Unlike the Paralympics or Olympics, Special Olympics is not simply an event every four years for elite athletes. Special Olympics provides training and competition opportunities, as well as personal development opportunities, for all abilities and age groups (8+). This is achieved through regular sports activity at local clubs with the opportunity to participate in regional, national and international events and competitions.
Special Olympics sport is not elite, but it is competitive! All Special Olympics sanctioned competitions use a process of ‘divisioning’ to ensure that athletes are in competition with others of a similar level of ability and skill.
Special Olympics GB includes England, Wales and Scotland (Northern Ireland is part of Special Olympics Ireland).
Athletes must be registered with SOGB and must fulfil their Athlete Eligibility Criteria
Some team sports/events do permit Unified Partners to compete alongside Special Olympics athletes in Unified/Integrated competition.
Special Olympics is community-based sport run by volunteers, it transforms the lives of children and adults with learning disabilities through sport…. but it is more than just sport, it is training for life.
Special Olympics Oath: “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt”