Special Olympics Ireland retains Healthy Communities Award
Special Olympics Ireland retain their Healthy Community Award for improving the accessibility of health information and services for people with intellectual disability.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made the subject of health ever more prevalent but it is something that Special Olympics Ireland has always focused on. Today they are proud to retain their Healthy Community Award for improving the accessibility of health information and services for people with intellectual disability.
People with an intellectual disability often experience poorer quality and reduced access to health services. Special Olympics Ireland has continually supported the global vision for inclusive health for their athletes. The Healthy Communities Award is recognition of that work by Special Olympics International.
“Special Olympics Ireland has been working hard to improve accessibility of health information and services through our different health and wellbeing programmes. Particularly during COVID-19, through our Together at Home Programme. We are proud to retain our Healthy Communities status in recognition of our continued work in this area.” says Cáit Donnelly, Health & Wellbeing Coordinator, Special Olympics Ireland.
To support athletes at home, enabling them to take care of their mental and physical health, Special Olympics Ireland have launched a Together at Home Programme which is built on four key pillars:
· Sport and Fitness
· Health Promotion
· Strong Minds
· Young Athletes
Special Olympics Healthy Communities initiative is made possible by The Golisano Foundation who since 2012 have committed $37 million to the Special Olympics global health programme. So far, the Healthy Communities initiative has been activated in 64 countries and has made significant advancements in increasing access to health, fitness and wellness programmes for people with intellectual disabilities in the communities in which they live. Ann Costello, Executive Director of the Golisano Foundation visited earlier this year to experience first-hand how Special Olympics Ireland is creating a Healthy Community.
"I was very fortunate to visit Ireland earlier this year and witness first hand the wonderful work Special Olympics Ireland is carrying out in the area of health & wellbeing for athletes. They have worked hard to support athletes to live healthy lives on and off the sport field. This is evident from the athletes I met and the clubs I visited on my trip. Special Olympics Ireland have created a strong Healthy Community" said Ann during her visit to Ireland.
“We will continue to focus on supporting healthy living and promoting well-being for all our stakeholders and most especially our athletes irrespective of obstacles. We are determined to build on the significant successes achieved to date.” said Matt English, Special Olympics CEO.