All the athletes competing at the Games have an intellectual (learning) disability.
The range of abilities of someone with an intellectual disability can vary greatly from mild and moderate intellectual disability; where someone is likely to have some language skills that mean they can communicate about their day to day needs and wishes but may need some support with caring for themselves or carrying out day to day tasks with support, to severe; where a person will often use basic words and gestures to communicate their needs to those with profound and multiple disabilities (physical) who will require support with mobility and many have complex communication and health needs requiring extensive support.
Because of our mission and vision of offering opportunities to all people with an intellectual disability regardless of their ability, athletes attending the Games are likely to come from across the whole spectrum of intellectual (learning) disability. Athletes competing at the Games will have a coach /escort who is responsible for their welfare while at the event. Our maximum athlete/coach ratio is 4:1 although this may be reduced to as much as 1:1 for those athletes with the highest support needs.
The scale and of the logistics involved in organising and a fully accessible and event for people with an intellectual disability makes our National Games an expensive undertaking.
The Healthy Athletes Programme® is dedicated to providing health services and education to Special Olympics athletes, and changing the way health systems interact with people with intellectual (learning) disabilities.
By offering free health screenings and information at Special Olympics local, regional competitions and World Games, training for health care professionals, and evaluation of the health status of people with intellectual (learning) disabilities, Healthy Athletes has become a powerful public health programme worldwide.
Athletes who competed at our 2013 National Summer Games had the chance to have dental, podiatry and aural screenings, as well as receiving general health advice.
The future of Healthy Athletes in Special Olympics Great Britain aims to introduce Health Promotion and Fun Fitness screenings at the regional games level.
For the 2017 National Summer Games there will be 5 screenings taking place in Sheffield:
With grateful thanks to Birkdale School for their generous support in providing the venue.
#Sheffield17 National Games Clinical Directors
Mandy Abbott – Clinical Director for Fit Feet
Caroline Hurst – Clinical Director for Opening Eyes
Nicole Dunning – Clinical Director for Special Smiles
Alistair Beverley – Clinical Director ‘FUNFitness’
Wendy Stephens – Clinical Director for Healthy Hearing
If you are interested in volunteering for any of the clinical screenings please register as a volunteer by the 30th April here!