A Word from the Chair of the Global Athlete Leadership Council, Heidi Mallett

My name is Heidi Mallett and I am an athlete from Special Olympics Prince Edward Island.

You may remember that I was selected as the Special Olympics North America (SONA) representative on Special Olympics International’s Global Athlete Leadership Council (GALC) last year. The GALC is made up of seven athlete members from around the globe who represent their region’s ideas and perspectives, while empowering and advocating for local athletes with an intellectual disability. I was the first-ever Canadian selected for this role.

Now, I am excited to share that I have accepted the role of Chair of the Global Athlete Leadership Council. It is a huge honour and a big job to represent Canada and take on this leadership role. As a Chair, I look forward most to giving other athletes the chance to speak and be heard. I want to make sure that all athletes have the opportunity to be meaningful contributors to our movement.

I first got involved with Special Olympics 14 years ago. At the time, I was already working with People First and sitting on a Community Inclusion Board to advocate for housing for people with intellectual disabilities, which I got a lot of fulfillment from, but something was still missing.

My mom told me, "You need to make a life for yourself."

She wanted me to go out and do things for myself - to socialize, make friends, build up my confidence and find a community. She encouraged me to join Special Olympics. My first sport was Bowling. Now, I am an active participant in a variety of sports including Golf, Snowshoe, Bocce and 5-Pin Bowling. I have made friends all throughout Canada and now with my global role, around the whole world.

What an incredible life I have made for myself. Mothers always know best!

I am grateful for every opportunity I have had with Special Olympics and the community it has given me. In my new role as Chair of the Global Athlete Council, I look forward to creating these experiences and opportunities for other individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Together, we will help create a more inclusive world.

More About Heidi

Heidi Mallett has been a Special Olympics PEI athlete for 14 years. Heidi is an active participant in a variety of Special Olympics sports, including Golf, Snowshoe, Bocce, and 5-Pin Bowling. Heidi is no stranger to competition, having been a member of Team PEI as a member of both the Golf and 5-Pin Bowling teams. Most recently, Heidi was a member of Team PEI 2020's 5-Pin Bowling team at the Special Olympics National Winter Games in Thunder Bay, ON. Off the fields of play, Heidi is the Athlete Representative on Special Olympics PEI's Board of Directors, a Health Messenger, and Special Olympics PEI's representative on the Canadian Athlete Leadership Council. Heidi is a strong advocate of the People First movement. She is the Chair / President of People First PEI. Additionally, Heidi has been Co-Chair of the Board of Community Inclusions. 

Read about Heidi on the Special Olympics Prince Edward Island website:

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