Gallagher is proud to partner with Special Olympics Australia as a part of our global partnership with Special Olympics International. Joining their movement to promote inclusion, equality and acceptance around the world.
Gallagher is the official sponsor of Special Olympics International Sport and Coach programming, supporting the movement's mission to deliver the highest quality of coach training and sport experience to more than five million athletes in over 240 local programs across the globe. Additional Gallagher sponsorship includes the World Winter Games, the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, plus local events and competitions around Australia.
The partnership will directly support global Special Olympics events, year-round activation in regional markets, and ongoing blended learning approaches for coaches. Grounded in the idea that everyone needs to find their team, this partnership will open the door for more people with intellectual disabilities to learn teamwork, improve their fitness, and develop as confident individuals.
In December Gallagher Australia CEO Sarah Lyons was joined by colleagues, athletes and representatives from Special Olympics Australia to hold a small Inclusive Games event.
To help celebrate the International Day of People With Disabilities on 3 December 2020, Gallagher Australia CEO and a handful of our team mates were lucky enough to take part in an Inclusive Games event with our strategic partners, Special Olympics Australia.
We spent our afternoon on Wednesday playing cricket and soccer with the amazing coaches, staff and athletes of Special Olympics Australia as we saw first hand the work the organisation does to support people with intellectual disability.
Watch the short video supporting the day.
Special Olympics Australia athlete, Chris Bunton, shares his thoughts around what being an athlete means to him and how Special Olympics have impacted his life.
Special Olympics Australia is part of a global sporting community for people with an intellectual disability.
Special Olympics has grown from a backyard camp into a global movement that has been transforming the lives of people with an intellectual disability for almost 50 years. The global sporting community was pioneered by the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister to US President John F Kennedy as well as Rosemary who had an intellectual disability. Today, Special Olympics supports over 5 million athletes in 177 countries.
Special Olympics began in Australia in 1976 when many people with an intellectual disability were shut in institutions. While this is no longer the norm in Australia, we continue to seek public support to ensure that people with an intellectual disability are not shut out. By helping us give them opportunities to play sport, together we can open the door to personal achievement, pride and inclusion for some of the marginalised and isolated members of our community.
Generally speaking, people with an intellectual disability find it hard to do what are considered basic tasks, like reading, handling money or catching public transport. It doesn't mean that they can’t learn to do these things, they just may learn differently or need more time and support to succeed.
Young athlete Brittney Neill (VIC) who has autism sums up what having an intellectual disability means to her: “I concentrate on what I can do and not what people think I can’t. Really, I can do everything anyone else can do. It just takes me longer to learn and process information. I just know I have to keep trying, so that’s what I do to achieve my dreams. When I’m running I think a tiger is after me and I say in my head: ‘Go, go, go, go’.”
Unlike those with a physical disability, it is not always obvious when a person has an intellectual disability. What is obvious at Special Olympics Australia is that many have hidden talents that sport can help them uncover.