Special Olympics Great Britain

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Special Olympics Great Britain (originally known as Special Olympics UK) was founded in 1978 by Chris Maloney MBE. It was one of the first European programmes of the international Special Olympics movement.[1]

Special Olympics GB was born on Wednesday August 8th 1979, the year Great Britain made its début at the Special Olympics World Games in Brockport, USA.

Special Olympics GB creates opportunities for children and adults with learning (intellectual) disabilities to take part in various sports training and competition year-round.

Special Olympics is often confused with the Paralympics, which is for elite athletes with physical and/or intellectual disabilities.

To be eligible to take part in the Special Olympics GB programmes, participants would have to have an IQ of 75 and below. There are currently 150 Special Olympics clubs in Great Britain, run by over 4,000 volunteers, and involving 8,000 athletes who benefit from taking regular sport training and competitions programmes.[2]

Special Olympics GB has a charitable status and has been receiving donations and funding from individuals as well as corporate partners. National Grid, Coca Cola GB, ABB and Lions Clubs International are some of the long-term official partners of the charity.[3]

Ambassadors.[4] Special Olympic GB Ambassadors from the world of sports and entertainment help to raise funds and build awareness of the charity’s work throughout Great Britain. Special Olympics GB includes former Southampton football manager Lawrie McMenemy, Olympic Champion athlete Darren Campbell, former NBA basketball legend John Amaechi,TV beauty and style guru Armand Beasley.

Sports for all people with learning (intellectual)disabilities Special Olympics GB offers 26 different individual and team sports that provide meaningful training and competition opportunities for people with intellectual (learning) disabilities.[5]

Special Olympics GB Clubs Special Olympics GB has an extensive network of clubs operating in 19 regions throughout England, Scotland and Wales.[6] All the clubs and competitions are run solely by an army of dedicated volunteers.[7]


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