Toyota (GB) is pleased to announce a two-year partnership with Special Olympics Great Britain as the organisation’s Official Mobility Partner. Toyota will support the charity’s mission to create more sporting opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities across England, Scotland and Wales.
Globally, Toyota has been a partner of Special Olympics Eurasia since 2017; the new regional agreement with Special Olympics GB will initially help more than 80 British athletes who will participate in the Special Olympics World Games, taking place from 17 – 25 June in Berlin. The athletes will compete in 17 sports, supported by volunteer coaches and medical and support staff. They will be among more than 7,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities taking part in the world’s biggest inclusive sporting event of 2023.
Toyota will mark the new partnership with the opening of a Team Special Olympics GB Fan Zone hosted by Ocean Outdoor and Westfield London from 17 – 26 June, where visitors can watch live Berlin 2023 action across the nine days of competition in Westfield Square. An associated branding campaign will see Special Olympics highlights and medal moments broadcast on Ocean Outdoor digital out of home screens in 10 British cities.
Additionally, Toyota has partnered with LADbible Group, one of the world’s largest social publishers, on unique social media content to celebrate and showcase the talents of Special Olympics GB athletes to a young audience, as they prepare to compete at Berlin 2023.
Agustín Martín, Toyota (GB) President and Managing Director, commented: “Enhancing mobility and happiness for all is a key mission for Toyota, so we’re looking forward to helping raise awareness of the Special Olympics through this partnership, while also providing practical support by providing vehicles. I was pleased to meet two of our British Special Olympic athletes last week and found it humbling and inspiring to hear about their sporting journeys. I also learned from their parents how much it means to them to compete on a world stage, doing something they are good at, and also having the chance to travel to another country.”
Colin Dyer, Chief Executive of Special Olympics GB, said: “Toyota has a strong association with our work through its long-standing relationship with Special Olympics Eurasia and its initial Fan Zone and outdoor campaign will elevate the profile of our athletes ahead of their participation at the Special Olympics World Games.
“However, the support from Toyota goes way beyond this and will play an instrumental role in developing our sporting opportunities, which can help transform the lives of people with intellectual disabilities in England, Scotland and Wales.”
More than 6,500 children and adults are currently registered and benefiting from the sporting opportunities at accredited Special Olympics GB clubs. All clubs are supported by volunteer teams, with around 3,500 individuals signed up to help the charity deliver its life-changing work.
Notes to Editors
About Special Olympics GB
- Special Olympics Great Britain (GB), set up in 1978, is a non-profit charity which provides year-round sports coaching and athletic competition in summer and winter sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
- Special Olympics GB currently has 95 accredited programmes in England, Scotland and Wales and provides coaching and competition opportunities in 27 sports. These programmes are run by over 3,500 volunteers who support more than 6,500 athletes with intellectual disabilities to take part.
- Special Olympics GB is more than just an opportunity to take part in sport – it transforms lives. It provides opportunities to increase confidence, realise potential, develop physical fitness and mental well-being, demonstrate courage and experience new friendships. And above all for both athletes and their families – to have some FUN.
- The work of Special Olympics GB is currently funded by individuals, trust and corporate donations and financial support is crucial to enable us to continue our work.
- Over a quarter of British adults (27%) have heard of Special Olympics GB and 98% think that it is an inspirational organisation. (Two Circles, National Representative Omnibus Survey for Special Olympics GB)
About Special Olympics
- Special Olympics is a global, IOC (International Olympic Committee) recognised organisation.
- Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics now reaches more than five million athletes in more than 190 countries.
- Unlike the Olympics and Paralympics which focuses on elite sport with events every four years, Special Olympics aims to offer opportunities for athletes of ALL abilities to take part in a range of sport every day of the week, every week of the year.
- About Intellectual Disability (ID): this is a significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information, to learn new skills (impaired intelligence) with a reduced ability to cope independently (impaired social functioning) which started before adulthood, with a lasting effect on development.’ Source: Department of Health (2001) Valuing People.
- There are an estimated 1.5 million people with intellectual disabilities in Great Britain (Source: Papworth Trust 2010).
- Two hundred babies are born each week with intellectual disabilities in the UK (Source: Papworth Trust 2010).
- Eight out of 10 children with intellectual disabilities are bullied and ALL are socially excluded. (Source: Mencap 2007).
- Further statistics surrounding intellectual disabilities and the impact of Covid can be found on our website HERE.
- Changing social activities and a changing environment mean that younger generations (under 45 years old) have more of a connection to or are aware of people with ID). (Two Circles, National Representative Omnibus Survey for Special Olympics GB)