The Special Olympics mission remains as vital today as it did when the movement was founded in 1968. Special Olympics strives to create a better world by fostering the acceptance and inclusion of all people. Special Olympics South Carolina now provides programs and services for over 30,000 participants.
Through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success. Our athletes find joy, confidence and fulfillment -- on the playing field and in life. They also inspire people in their communities and elsewhere to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential. Special Olympics SC now has over 29,000 athletes training and competing in 26 different sports, and will hold over 400 competitions around the state in 2019.
The Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program is aimed at promoting social inclusion through intentionally planned and implemented activities affecting systems-wide change. With sports as the foundation, the three component model offers a unique combination of effective activities that equip young people with tools and training to create sports, classroom and school climates of acceptance. These are school climates where students with disabilities feel welcome and are routinely included in, and feel a part of, all activities, opportunities and functions.We now have Unified School programs in over 300 schools in our state, and that number continues to grow with ever new school year.
Impaired coping abilities and communication skills – common among people with ID – can mask health concerns. This can lead to a breakdown in the quality of health care and health education. Over the past two decades, Special Olympics has improved the health of people with ID around the world by collaborating with our athletes, health care providers, community organizations, universities, and governments. This is an area of special focus for Special Olympics SC as we move into 2020.