The Hargreaves Foundation supports Special Olympics Great Britain

October 2023

The Trustees of the Hargreaves Foundation are pleased to announce funding has been granted to Special Olympics Great Britain, which provides opportunities for young people with intellectual disabilities to participate in international-level sport.

Special Olympics Great Britain is part of Special Olympics International, the largest disability sports organisation in the world, and currently works with 95 local community clubs and 3,500 volunteers across England, Scotland and Wales. It enables 6,500 athletes with intellectual disabilities to participate in 27 different individual and team sports, and to experience the mental and physical health benefits of participatory sport.

The funding supported 12 British athletes with intellectual disabilities aged 18 and under to attend the Special Olympics World Summer Games 2023 in Berlin. The athletes represented Great Britain in sports including athletics, gymnastics and swimming. This was a life-changing opportunity to showcase their sporting abilities internationally.

The Special Olympics Games is a celebration of diversity and inclusion. Being part of a Special Olympics team, and the social opportunities it offers for connection with other young people with intellectual disabilities, decreases participants’ loneliness and increases their feelings of belonging, reducing the risk of depression and distress and boosting confidence, wellbeing and social interaction skills.