Being healthy is about more than just being physically active. Special Olympics offers Healthy Athletes clinics and screenings to help further enrich the lives of our athletes. Special Olympics PEI is proud to be recognized as a Healthy Community, and happy to share our successes from Year 1 with our supporters.
Building on the foundation that had been established in Prince Edward Island through Healthy Athletes programs since May 2015, a one year Golisano Foundation Healthy Communities Grant awarded in 2017 to Special Olympics PEI has enabled our organization to establish a follow-up care process, enhance our health and wellness program initiatives, provide additional areas of focus for screenings, and help lay the groundwork for engaging our athlete leaders in health initiatives. Here is a recap of some of the success we have had over the year:
- Offered 3 HA Disciplines (Health Promotion, Strong Minds, and Opening Eyes) between April 2017-March 2018
- 164 athlete screenings between April 2017-March 2018
- 77% with follow-up access to the needs identified in screenings
- 74 Athletes enrolled in Health/Wellness opportunities (22%)
- 5 Performance/Fitness programs offered throughout 3 regions of our province
Healthy Athletes is a global initiative dedicated to providing health services and education, through 8 separate disciplines, to Special Olympics athletes. The goal is to change the way health systems interact with people with intellectual disabilities while encouraging healthy lifestyles for Special Olympics athletes and their families. Health Promotion seeks to find the best ways to convey and reinforce key health information to athletes with intellectual disabilities. The objectives of Health Promotion are to: Improve long-term health outcomes for Special Olympics athletes by giving them the information, encouragement, and facilities they need to sustain physical fitness and healthy lifestyle choices (health screenings at Games include body mass index and bone mineral density measurements), improve the quality of life and self-image of athletes, provide the athletes the means by which they can work to better their own health and wellbeing. Health Promotion also focuses on such areas as nutrition, sun safety, tobacco avoidance, hygiene and physical activity. Health Promotion uses interactive educational tools and displays, motivational literature and demonstrations to heighten the awareness of athletes, reinforcing the need to improve and maintain an enhanced level of wellness and self-care.