Healthy Athletes Resources

The Healthy Athletes program is dedicated to providing health services and education to Special Olympics athletes, and changing the way health systems interact with people with intellectual disabilities.


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Healthy Athletes’ influence is evident with more than 120,000 healthcare professionals trained, free health screenings provided to nearly 1.4 million athletes, and 90,000 free pairs of eyeglasses given to athletes. Healthy Athletes continues to grow each year with help from a global network of volunteers, in-kind donations and other financial support.

For more information, contact Lynn Erickson (lerickson@specialolympics.org), Manager, Health Communications.


Healthy Athletes News and Stories


Friday, July 25, 2014 | Asia Pacific: Thailand

Pioneering a Sports and Health Innovations Platform in Thailand

By David Evangelista

Special Olympics and UNICEF Thailand have renewed their partnership agreement and plan to launch new health initiatives while sustaining a strong focus on development through sport programming and leaView Story Special Olympics and UNICEF Thailand have renewed their partnership agreement and plan to launch new health initiatives while sustaining a strong focus on development through sport programming and leadership development. This paves the way for both organizations to implement regional sports competitions, youth/athlete-led leadership training courses and health examination programs, as well as scale up the Special Olympics Healthy Communities program, which provides comprehensive health assessments for children with intellectual disabilities and better integrates them into the state health system. In addition, UNICEF and Special Olympics Thailand will hold 4 Motor Activity Training Programs, a motor-skill development program for individuals with profound disabilities. With partnerships in over 30 countries, Special Olympics and UNICEF work together at all levels to achieve equity for all children, including those with intellectual disabilities.

About David Evangelista:I am the Vice President of Global Development and Government Relations for Special Olympics.
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014 | Africa: South Africa

Podiatry Students Join Special Olympics on Nelson Mandela Day!

By Lauren Wyndham Quin

Following in the spirit of Madiba, Special Olympics South Africa and the University of Johannesburg (UJ) hosted their first Fit Feet training event on 18 July. Eleven final year podiatry students aView Story Following in the spirit of Madiba, Special Olympics South Africa and the University of Johannesburg (UJ) hosted their first Fit Feet training event on 18 July. Eleven final year podiatry students attended to learn more about Healthy Athletes (HA) and caring for individuals with intellectual disabilities. In addition to the training, the students conducted a "mini clinic" for athletes from San Michele Home. Nomzamo Duma, Special Olympics Regional Clinical Advisor, lead both the theoretical and practical components and had the following to say: "This was a great celebration for Mandela Day, which brought in many wishes and opened doors for both Special Olympics athletes and clinicians alike and we look forward to a refined relationship with UJ in future." Following a wonderful day of learning, Mr. Ntuli, a lecturer at UJ has committed to attending the next HA screening, assisting with referrals and including Special Olympics in the agenda of the 2016 Health Sciences curricula review.

About Lauren Wyndham Quin:Regional Manager, Healthy Athletes
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Thursday, July 17, 2014 | Africa: South Africa

Special Olympics Brings Hope to Hoima

By Lauren Wyndham Quin

On 12 July 2014, community members gathered in the western town of Hoima to lead Special Olympics Uganda athletes in an awareness walk to the central sports centre, where athletes would participate inView Story On 12 July 2014, community members gathered in the western town of Hoima to lead Special Olympics Uganda athletes in an awareness walk to the central sports centre, where athletes would participate in their first Regional Games. Alongside the athletics, volleyball and soccer, Local Government Health Officials provided information to caretakers on preventative measures against cholera and malaria, in an area where infections are rife and effects devastating. Special Olympics staff members were also invited to community talk shows and interviews to engage in discussions that would bring about a new perspective on inclusion and access to care for individuals with intellectual disabilities. But this is only the beginning. Since Special Olympics Uganda are recipients of the new Expanding Health Grant they will be returning to Hoima, with athlete leaders, to offer on-going support to this community in the fight against malaria. Stay tuned as we follow Special Olympics Uganda's journey of creating real impact and lasting change in Hoima.

About Lauren Wyndham Quin:Healthy Athletes, Special Olympics Africa Region
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