Packie Bonner, Celtic legend and long standing friend of Special Olympics says, “For me today is a very special occasion and I was there in 1990. Celtic and Special Olympics are both very close to my heart so to see Celtic take on a bigger role globally with Special Olympics is fantastic. There are millions of people with intellectual disabilities around the world and they are often a forgotten group. We all saw how attitudes changed towards athletes with disabilities last summer in London. This partnership will create opportunities for Special Olympics athletes and transform the way communities and groups think and act with regard to intellectual disabilities.”
Special Olympics Scotland West is one of the largest groups in the country supporting many of the clubs within Glasgow and the region. At the 2011 World Games in Athens, Scotland made up 48% of team Great Britain and this year more than 700 Scots will compete at the National Games in Bath in August. The fundraising and training has already begun.
“Special Olympics Global Football initiative aims to create a network of Ambassador Teams which brings the football community together to promote inclusion and raise public awareness of the Special Olympics year-round programme ,” concluded Trevor O’Rourke, Special Olympics Global Football Director.
Existing Team Ambassadors for Special Olympics include Tottenham Hotspur, Inter Milan, Corinthians in Brazil and Seattle Sounders FC from Major League Soccer (MLS).