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


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 leadership development.View 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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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.View 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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July 21, 2014 | SOI: Region Asia Pacific

Lions Clubs Malaysia Announces Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation with Special Olympics Asia Pacific

By Simon Koh

From left to right: International President Joe Preston, Lions Clubs International, Special Olympics Malaysia athlete Muhammad Amin Bin Ali, Lim Hoe Guan, Lions District 308-B1 Governor. Simon Koh, Special Olympics Asia Pacific Director of Operations, Nurazida Daud, President of Special Olympics Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur and Special Olympics Malaysia athlete Muhammad Haziq Bin Rizal.

Lions Clubs of Malaysia signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation with Special Olympics in the Asia Pacific region, continuing its worldwide efforts to achieve the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in their communities.View Story Lions Clubs of Malaysia (District 308 B1) signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation with Special Olympics in the Asia Pacific region, continuing its worldwide efforts to achieve the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in their communities. Building on the organizations' 14-year history of collaboration, the memorandum of understanding strengthens ties between Special Olympics and Lions Clubs District 308 B1 Malaysia in the community through: high quality Special Olympics vision screening and follow up services for people with intellectual disabilities, engagement and inclusive sports opportunities to reach more young people and Leos through inclusive sports programs, Family Health Forums to educate families and carers of individuals with intellectual disabilities.

About Simon Koh:Director, Operations for Asia Pacific region
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