On the occasion of the Special Olympics European Summer Games 2014 in Antwerp, Belgium, Laurent Petrynka, President of the International School Sport Federation, and Timothy P. Shriver, chairman of Special Olympics International, signed on 15th September last a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between their respective organisations, both recognised by the International Olympic Committee.
Special Olympics International provides year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. It includes more than 4 million people with intellectual disabilities across 200 countries throughout the world. When signing the Memorandum, Mr. Petrynka emphasised the common values that both organisations share.
The memorandum signifies and enhances cooperation between the two organisations.
This collaboration will reinforce the visibility, inclusion and public recognition of the Special Olympics athletes. Moreover, it will incite the ISF to more effectively realise its long-term objective to encourage education through sport.
As part of the memorandum, the ISF committed itself to include participants of Special Olympics International at its events, such as the Educational Games, which will take place next May in Athens, Greece. The ISF and its partner, the School Sport Foundation, will provide training sessions with experts to demonstrate and promote the Special Olympics Unified Sports program.
Furthermore, the ISF will further explore the partnership with Special Olympics International at its International Convention in Qatar in March of next year, and will hold workshops to discuss inclusive sports.