Special Olympics really integrates with local community

Castle Hill had its own ‘Special’ Olympics last week as Special Olympics Australia’s Community Sports link program hosted a sport, social activity and community engagement program at Eric Mobbs Reserve Castle Hill.

Special Olympics Australia exists to enrich the lives of Australians living with an intellectual disability by providing quality sporting opportunities and engaging the broader community.

Local businesses like Real Insurance volunteered to assist at the ribbon day which is designed to break down the barriers to participation and bring sport, social activity and community engagement to those who are unable to access Special Olympics Australia’s regular programs.

Said Anne Grobler marketing director of Real Insurance: "We run a corporate responsibility program, Real Needs, which gives our employees the opportunity to give back to their community. When we told our employees about the ‘Special Olympics’ day, a number of them volunteered to assist with registrations, catering and on field sports.

"Feedback from Lourdes Blackler, Caitlin Hughes, Nicole Edgerley and Rebecca Tamaka, who participated, was that it was not only a privilege but also a great personal experience and very satisfying to help out on the day."

Special Olympics Australia offers weekly training in 16 summer and winter sports as well as competition pathways to participate in regional, state, national and international competitions. Its holistic approach also includes leadership programs with one-on-one mentors and healthy athlete screenings focusing on eyes, ears, feet, teeth and general health.

In Australia, a child is diagnosed with an intellectual disability every two hours, bringing the estimated population of Australians with an intellectual disability to over 500,000. Special Olympics aims to build understanding and acceptance of people with an intellectual disability using sport as the vehicle of choice.

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