Special Olympics Great Britain has welcomed a House of Lords report into the Paralympic legacy saying that proper investment and political support could “significantly change the lives of people with intellectual disabilities in the UK”.
The Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Committee’s report Keeping the flame alive: the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy called for debates around ensuring a lasting legacy for London 2012 to not overlook intellectual disability or simply bolt it on to physical disability policies.
Karen Wallin, chief executive of Special Olympics GB, said: “Within this report, there is a recognition that sport needs to be more accessible to those with disabilities – which is exactly what organisations like ours are doing. One of Special Olympics’ main roles is to use sport to create a more inclusive society. Through our programmes, people of all ages with intellectual disabilities find fun, fitness and friendship and this leads to great self-confidence and self-esteem.
“With £2 million investment from Government over the next three years, and political support, Special Olympics GB could significantly change the lives of people with intellectual disabilities in the UK. This level of investment would enable us to able to broaden the reach and impact of our programmes.”
Special Olympics GB is working in partnership with organisations that align with its inclusive agenda. This month has seen the training of seven Special Olympics athletes by Youth Sport Trust to enable them to visit their Project Ability schools alongside Paralympians.
The objective of the project is to help raise the aspirations of young disabled people and help change perceptions of others around people with intellectual disabilities achieving in sport.