Special Olympics GB wants record participation after ‘devastating impact’ of Covid-19

It is estimated there are 1.5 million people in Britain with an intellectual disability, and Special Olympics GB provides regular sport for just over 10,000 athletes.

It wants to increase that to 13,000 by 2024, then expand substantially.

Michelle Carney, the organisation’s CEO, said: “We have all lived through an extraordinary period of time with the Covid-19 pandemic, which has changed life for all of us.

“This has had a devastating impact on our athletes, who have been disproportionately negatively affected.”

The death rate among people with intellectual disabilities has been far higher than the national average during the pandemic because of various factors, including underlying health conditions.

There has also been widespread concern at the provision of testing and vaccinations for those with intellectual disabilities.

‘Surely it makes sense?’
Special Olympics GB is funded by commercial partners, and does not receive money direct from the National Lottery.

It is looking to raise £7m by 2024 to finance its recovery and growth, and hopes to secure funding from the government alongside new private investment.

It also hopes to secure government backing to host a World Summer Games of the Special Olympics.

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