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Special Olympics GB partners with Youth Sport Trust to engage more young people

Special Olympics Great Britain and the Youth Sport Trust are joining forces to improve the opportunities for young people with intellectual disabilities to become involved in sport.

 Special Olympics GB has an ambition to increase the number of young people who benefit from its year-round sports training and competition and is utilising the knowledge and expertise of the Youth Sport Trust to support them in achieving this.

Through financial support from AMWAY UK generated by the company from several employee and distributor fundraising initiatives, funding has been secured for an initial 12 months to dedicate a member of staff to help develop a Youth Engagement Programme and enhance its impact across the country.

Sheryl Franklin-Worth Amway UK Corporate Affairs Manager said:

“We are proud to show our support for Special Olympics Great Britain and the Youth Trust Partnership and look forward to further supporting them to achieve their full potential.”


Karen Wallin, Chief Executive, Special Olympics GB said:

“Bringing together the Youth Sport Trust, with its specialist focus on developing innovative and exciting opportunities for the inclusion of young people with disabilities and special needs, and Special Olympics GB, gives us a great opportunity to really benefit young people with intellectual disabilities. There are over 1.2 million people in the country with intellectual disabilities – that’s around 2% of the population. Just over 10% of Special Olympics registered athletes are between the ages of 4 and 16 and this number needs to grow. We are delighted to have the funding from AMWAY and to be able to secure the skills and experience of Julie and the Youth Sport Trust to focus on making a difference to the lives of young people with intellectual disabilities. We know that getting these young people involved in Special Olympics GB can make a huge difference to their health and well-being as they grow in confidence and develop their self-esteem.”


Julie Smith, Solutions Manager at Youth Sport Trust has taken up the role and brings a track record in sport and community development.

Speaking of the new partnership, Alison Oliver, Managing Director at the Youth Sport Trust, said:

“At the Youth Sport Trust we believe that sport can change lives and it is great to have the opportunity to share our expertise with Special Olympics GB. By working together we will build a national youth strategy that will aim to enhance the sporting opportunities for young people with intellectual disabilities.”

This compliments the work already underway through the Inclusive Sport programme with EFDS.