Special Olympics Nigeria is an affiliate of Special Olympics International a global non-profit organization created by the Joseph P. Jr foundation.
Special Olympics Nigeria took off in January 2001. She held her formal launch on Tuesday 6th December 2005 at the sports complex of the University of Lagos, Akoka. The purpose of the launch was to bring Special Olympics opportunities to individuals with intellectual disabilities in the Nigerian society. It introduced Special Olympics Nigeria to the Nigerian society by displaying the abilities possessed by its athletes to break the barrier of cultural inhibitions as regards the issue of intellectual disability in the Nigerian society.
Today, Special Olympics Nigeria is spread across 28 states in 5 out of the 6 geopolitical zones of the country – South West, South East, South South, North Central and North West with over 26,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities participating in year round training and competition in 10 Olympic-type Sports; Soccer (Football), Basketball, Aquatics (Swimming), Athletics, Badminton, Table-tennis, Cycling, Floor Ball, Floor hockey, and Volleyball. As a non -profit organization Special Olympics does not charge a fee, participation is free and open to all.
Special Olympics alternates between the World Summer Games and the World Winter Games which occurs every 2 years. The World Games have become the flagship event of the Special Olympics movement and have grown to be an international demonstration of inclusion, acceptance, and unity.
Special Olympics Nigeria has participated in 5 Special Olympics World Summer Games (Ireland, China, Greece, USA and Abu Dhabi) and 2 Special Olympics World Winter Games (South Korea and Austria). Special Olympics Nigeria is governed by a thirteen-man board, chaired by Mr. Victor G. Osibodu.
To provide children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round sports training and opportunities for athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports.
To transform communities by inspiring people through the joy of sport, to open their minds, accept, include and value people with intellectual disability and therefore unite people in a shared belief of a more just and welcoming world.
Special Olympics Nigeria engages in sports, health and capacity building programmes all year long.
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