The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) is proud to partner with Special Olympics in supporting their mission of empowerment through sport and education.
A three-year, $10 million grant by SNF aims to increase the impact of Special Olympics’ school-based inclusive sports and education programming in expanding it to more schools around the world. In September, SNF representatives attended the Special Olympics Global Youth Leadership Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan, which brought together youth leaders from over 40 countries with representatives from the worlds of sport, business, philanthropy, and government. Supported by the SNF and others, the Forum is one of the flagship events marking the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics.
The forum brought together 250 youth leaders with and without intellectual disabilities. In this simple model, Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver sees an antidote to social division. In a recent Washington Post op-ed, Shriver advocates for unified sports teams in elementary, middle, and high schools, seeing potential for a fundamental shift that benefits everyone. The genuine human connections formed through the simple act of finding common ground on the playing field can lay the groundwork for broader social unity.