Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program is offered by Special Olympics chapters across the world. Good health improves the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by improving each Special Olympics athlete's ability to train and compete in sports. Special Olympics works with global partners, governments, and policy-making organizations to ensure health services, education, and opportunities reach individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID).
Recent research has shown that people with ID's have higher needs and health risks which are due to a lack of health education, health promotion, and health care. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are 40 percent more likely to acquire a preventable secondary health condition, such as obesity, poor fitness, nutritional deficits, untreated or poorly treated vision, dental, hearing and podiatric programs. Yet, these individual's are often denied necessary health services. This is where Healthy Athletes comes in.
Healthy Athlete events are organized in a way which intrigues athletes. These events educate athletes on healthy lifestyle choices and also identify health related problems that may require additional follow-up. This is achieved by basic health screening, provision of preventative and treatment services, education information, and referrals to the necessary health practitioners.
Special Olympics is able to offer a variety of Healthy Athlete disciplines which focus on a wide range of possible healthy-related issues.
- Opening Eyes (vision)**
- Fit Feet (podiatry)**
- FUNfitness (physical therapy)
- Health Promotion (better health and well-being)**
- Healthy Hearing (audiology)**
- MedFest (sport physical exam)**
- Special Smiles (dentistry)**
- Strong Minds (mental health)
**Not currently offered in Newfoundland and Labrador
Special Olympics Newfoundland and Labrador currently offers two(2) of the eight(8) disciplines listed above in conjunction with our Provincial Games every two(2) years.
If you are interested in becoming a facilitator for one of these courses please contact our Program Coordinator Kim McDonald-Wilkes firstname.lastname@example.org