Healthy Athletes

People with learning disabilities are 2.5 times more likely to have health problems than other people - Equal Treatment: Closing the Gap, Disability Rights Commission (2006)


Despite an estimated 200 million people living with an intellectual (learning) disability worldwide, many have had little or no access to proper health care for the majority of their lives. Often the reason is as simple as no doctor near them knows how to treat a person with an intellectual (learning) disability.

As a sports organisation for people with intellectual (learning) disabilities, Special Olympics was in a unique position to help, and in 1997 opened a whole new world of health care to people with intellectual (learning) disabilities and their families.

The Healthy Athletes Programme® is dedicated to providing health services and education to Special Olympics athletes, and changing the way health systems interact with people with intellectual (learning) disabilities.

By offering free health screenings and information at Special Olympics local, regional competitions and World Games, training for health care professionals, and evaluation of the health status of people with intellectual (learning) disabilities, Healthy Athletes has become a powerful public health programme worldwide.

SOGB Healthy Athletes Clinical Directors are:

Mandy Abbott – Clinical Director for Fit Feet - Read more here!
Caroline Hurst – Clinical Director for Opening Eyes - Read more here!
Nicole Dunning – Clinical Director for Special Smiles - Read more here!
Alistair Beverley – Clinical Director ‘FUNFitness’- Read more here!
Wendy Stephens – Clinical Director for Healthy Hearing - Read more here!