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Sport and SDGs case study: Special Olympics

Copyrights: Special Olympics International [Special Olympics Unified Basketball brings together players with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team.]

Sport and SDGs case study: Special Olympics

By providing inclusive sports opportunities for individuals of all ages and all abilities, Special Olympics is improving the health and educational outcomes for all participants.

How does your organisation work toward achieving the SDGs?

Special Olympics provides sports and health programming to a very marginalised and vulnerable population – those with intellectual disabilities, in 172 countries. By providing inclusive sports opportunities for individuals of all ages and all abilities, Special Olympics is improving the health and educational outcomes for all participants. Additionally, by ensuring gender appropriate programming, Special Olympics fosters the participation of women and girls and reduces inequalities between population subsets.

Which specific goals do you target?

Special Olympics targets SDG 3 through direct health programming for individuals with intellectual disabilities while also supporting the attainments of goals 4, 5 and 10 by providing gender equitable sporting opportunities to individuals with and without intellectual disabilities. Starting from two years of age, this inclusive programme fosters school readiness, improves motor and cognitive skills and facilitates increased school attendance and retention through intra- and extra- mural activities for youth with and without intellectual disabilities.

What changes have you made to your work since the SDGs were introduced in January 2016? 

Special Olympics has made a programmatic shift towards greater involvement of youth and inclusive programming. Instead of focusing solely on the development of individuals with intellectual disabilities on their own, Special Olympics has moved towards using sport as a tool to facilitate inclusion within the family, school and community. Special Olympics achieves this through Unified Sports in which participants with and without intellectual disabilities (including families and peers) play on the same sports team.

How is your organisation measuring progress?

Special Olympics collects statistical data on a number of indicators aligned with the SDGs namely number of individuals with and without intellectual disabilities participating in sports, gender and demographic breakdown of participants, participation in school sports activities and a range of health indicators that track the health disparities of those with intellectual disabilities compared with the general population.

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News

Author

Annemarie Hill

Published

Friday, July 13, 2018 - 13:46

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