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


April 09, 2015 | Africa: South Africa

Opening Eyes program saved my eyes

By Zanele Ngwenya

Special Olympics received the most amazing news from Logwood Village in South Africa: one of our athletes, PETRYS NOËTH, has been scheduled to have both the cataracts on his eyes removed.View Story Special Olympics received the most amazing news from Logwood Village in South Africa: one of our athletes, PETRYS NOËTH, has been scheduled to have both the cataracts on his eyes removed. After months of looking for a hospital that would do Petrys surgery for free, nurse Irene from Logwood Village took Petrys to one of the Healthy Athlete screening that was held in Westonaria in September last year. Through the screening Petrys was referred to an Opthalmologist at Leratong Hospital, We are happy to say that his surgery has been scheduled for the 10th of June. Petrys will now be able to take part in swimming and ten pin bowling like he use to ‪#‎Thank‬ you very much to Bonita and nurse Irene from Logwood Village for never giving up #Thank you to the Opening Eyes Team that screen our athletes #Thank you to the Essilor Team who provide our athletes with glasses #Thank you to Genop health Care who helped provide the equipment that screened the OE athletes that day. Without you it would'nt be possible

About Zanele Ngwenya:Marketing and communications officer
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February 25, 2015 | SOI General: Headquarters

Starkey Teams Up with Special Olympics to Provide $500,000 in Funds and Hearing Aids

By Lynn Erickson

Starkey Hearing Foundation and Special Olympics Healthy Hearing, which is a Special Olympics Healthy Athletes discipline that provides free hearing examinations to athletes worldwide, will partner for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles.View Story Starkey Hearing Foundation and Special Olympics Healthy Hearing, which is a Special Olympics Healthy Athletes discipline that provides free hearing examinations to athletes worldwide, will partner for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles. Starkey will provide contributions totaling $200,000 in support of Special Olympics Healthy Athletes and Healthy Hearing. Additionally, Starkey will aid Special Olympics athletes by providing $300,000 worth of hearing aids for free. Special Olympics Healthy Hearing not only provides free hearing exams to athletes in more than 80 countries, but, through sponsorships with organizations like Starkey, follow-up care also is emphasized and more than 2,000 hearing aids have been distributed free of charge to Special Olympics athletes around the world.

About Lynn Erickson:Manager, Health Communications
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December 17, 2014 | Africa: Kenya

Special Olympics and Lions Clubs Partner in Kenya, Charter First Champions Club in Africa

By Annemarie Hill

A new partnership between Lions Clubs International and Special Olympics will support health programming, family health education, Leo engagement in Unified Sports ® and will provide publicity for joint initiatives to help raise awareness.View Story A new partnership between Lions Clubs International and Special Olympics will support health programming, family health education, Leo engagement in Unified Sports ® and will provide publicity for joint initiatives to help raise awareness. The Lions Clubs International District 411A signed an official MoU with Special Olympics in the presence of First lnternational Vice President Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada in September. Dr. Yamada also received the Charter Application form of the Friends of Special Olympics Kenya Champions Lions Club, the 1st Champions Lions Club in Africa. The club is dedicated to supporting and raising funds for Special Olympics Kenya. This new club is the 12th Champions Lions Club worldwide. The signing took place after an Opening Eyes screening in which 32 Special Olympics athletes had their vision tested and received prescription lenses and medication. The event was supported by numerous Lions and Leos - a clear indication of the tremendous support to come from the Lions and Leos of Kenya as the partnership kicks off!

About Annemarie Hill:I am the Director of Global Development and Government Relations for Special Olympics.
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