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Africa

Special Olympics has 21 accredited programs addressing the needs of African people with an intellectual disability in the areas of sport, health, education and leadership. Special Olympics contributes significantly in addressing the correlation between disability and poverty, a key issue for the continent.

Our athletes in Africa helped strengthen the growth in the region. Learn More
A moment of NBA glory for a Special Olympics athlete from Senegal. Khody Kone
Special Olympics is a champion for people with ID in Africa Learn More
Lions Clubs help support health and fitness for our athletes. Learn More

Stories From Africa


November 26, 2014 | Africa: Senegal

Senegal hosts their annual Camp Shriver.

By Mrs Rajah Diouri Sy.

Special Olympics Senegal annually hosts a Camp Shriver that hosts over 100 children. The Camp continues a tradition that created by our founder, the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver who hosted the first camp right in her own backyard in Maryland.View Story Special Olympics Senegal annually hosts a Camp Shriver that hosts over 100 children. The Camp continues a tradition that created by our founder, the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver who hosted the first camp right in her own backyard in Maryland. The Camp Shriver experience significantly boosts skills in multiple sports and fosters social inclusion for athletes with and without intellectual disabilities who come together in a common goal of inclusion and participation regardless of ability. Special Olympics Senegal receives great support for this camp from the Ministry of Youth and this relationship has made it possible for the program to host this event annually. This year 121 athletes and partners experienced a great camping adventure. They got to participate in table tennis and basketball; swimming lessons were treated to a field trip to the zoo, a guided tour at the Economic and social council, and a visit to the Monument of the Renaissance. The athletes were trained by Special Olympics Senegal coaches and were chaperoned by volunteers and 21 monitors and a special education teacher. They all enjoyed their time at the camp and are looking forward to the next year’s camp.

About Mrs Rajah Diouri Sy.:Special Olympics Senegal National Director
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November 13, 2014 | Africa: South Africa

Have you ever shared a domitory with an athlete?

By Wanga Manyala

Well I have, more that once. First it was with Ephraim Mohlakane and now it was with Sipho Zwane, a Ten Pin Bowler from Logwood Village. For both times it has always been a Unified Sports Event. With Ephraim it was with the Africa Unity Cup and with Mr Zwane it was the Ten Pin Bowling Interprovincial.View Story Well I have, more that once. First it was with Ephraim Mohlakane and now it was with Sipho Zwane, a Ten Pin Bowler from Logwood Village. For both times it has always been a Unified Sports Event. With Ephraim it was with the Africa Unity Cup and with Mr Zwane it was the Ten Pin Bowling Interprovincial. Above all the experience has always been wonderfull; with Ephraim we could not sleep on the second day because there was a lizard on the wall and with Mr. Zwane it was a spider. It's not like I'm the scared one here. I am always the rescue guy. Generally i just want to share the fun, joy and laughter i always share with athletes than it ever happens with coches. You should try it too; but don't expect a lizard nor a spider. The power of being Unified.

About Wanga Manyala:I am a sports coordinator for Special Olympics South Africa, passionate about our Special Olympics Athletes and dearly enjoy and lust Youth Initiatives and programmes.
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October 24, 2014 | Africa: Nigeria

Reaching for the stars

By Jude Padfield

My story starts in the year 2002, the year my parents found out I had a severe mental disability. I always found sports difficult until I discovered the sport of netball. I was able to play this sport well and enjoyed it a lot.View Story My story starts in the year 2002, the year my parents found out I had a severe mental disability. As a result of this, I have always found sports more difficult, until when I reached the age of 11, I discovered the sport of netball. I was able to play this sport well and enjoyed it a lot. I was told I was very good and I wanted to try for the Olympics and then I found this.

About Jude Padfield:I am a boy and am 15 years old
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October 10, 2014 | Africa: Kenya

Unified Sports becomes a reality in Kenya

By Mr John Makathimo

Earlier this year, 12 Sports Directors from African programs were trained to conduct Unified Sports training at a workshop in Johnannesburg. Special Olympics Kenya took full advantage of this training to begin implementing Unified Sport in their country.View Story Special Olympics Unified Sports® joins people with and without intellectual disabilities together on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding. Earlier this year,12 Sports Directors from different African programs were trained to conduct Unified Sports training at a workshop in Johnannesburg. Special Olympics Kenya took full advantage of this training to begin implementing Unified Sport in their country. They recently hosted their first ever Unified Sports training with 27 Head Coaches at the YMCA in Central Nairobi. Senior Director of Operations and Program Development in the Africa Region, Mr. Charles Nyambe, was on hand to help oversee the training with the assistance of Program Development Manager, Mr. Joe Mutua. The training included both Head Coaches and Regional Coordinators and each participant was encouraged to recruit 20 Unified coaches, 75 athletes, and 60 Unified partners by the end of the year. With this kind of commitment to training and great facilities, Special Olympics Kenya is going to great lengths to achieve their Unified Sports objectives and to contribute to the attainment of Special Olympics Africa’s strategic goals. Thank you to Lions Club International and The Leo's for ensuring that Special Olympics Kenya carried out a successful Unified Sports training.

About Mr John Makathimo:Special Olympics Kenya National Director
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October 10, 2014 | Africa: Zimbabwe

Unified training begins in Zimbabwe

By Mrs Viola Musariri

Special Olympics Zimbabwe held Unified Sports® training at Prince Edward School in Harare in which 21 sports enthusiasts participated. Unified Sports involves teams made up of people with and without intellectual disabilities.View Story Special Olympics Zimbabwe held Unified Sports® training at Prince Edward School in Harare in which 21 sports enthusiasts participated. Unified Sports involves teams made up of people with and without intellectual disabilities. The event began with a theoretical overview of Unified Sport® and ended with a practical play of a 7-A-side football match. The athletes and unified teammates were taught ball skills and how to work together as a team. The participants also took turns to coaching their side to give them a different perspective of the sport. This event truly encapsulated the essence of sportsmanship and unity and Special Olympics Zimbabwe looks forward to reaching their 2016 goal of implementing Unified Sports.

About Mrs Viola Musariri:Special Olympics Zimbabwe National Director
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Special Olympics Contacts Information

Special Olympics Africa
Unit 300
Ground Floor, Process House
Epsom Downs Office Park
13 Sloane Street
Bryanston, 2152
Johannesburg
South Africa

Office:  +27 11 706-3323+27 11 706-3323
Email: asmith@specialolympics.org

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Special Olympics Blog

Sport and Tech Team Up for Good

Now, thanks to Microsoft, athletes, coaches and families will have rapid access to useful information about their scores, times, personal bests, fitness and health. Special Olympics can use this capability to dramatically improve the lives of people in our Movement.  read more »

Posted on 2014-10-27 by Janet

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