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The Value of Health

Australian Senator praises value of Healthy Athletes, calls work "powerful".

Getting the Message across

Sen. McLucas (right) at the Healthy Athletes visit in Kwandong University, Pyeongchang.

In Pyeongchang to attend the Special Olympics World Winter Games and Global Development Summit, Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas took time to support Team Australia’s athletes, and visited the Healthy Athletes Program in Kwandong University.

“The value of the Healthy Athletes program is absolutely obvious. Not only can you see just by visiting the scheme, where the athletes are totally engaged in the Program, they are listening attentively to the Health Promotion material, and that is fantastic, to get that message to anyone is wonderful.

Powerful Work

But it’s the follow up I think is the powerful work, so that any potential health issue that has been identified is then followed up. This is not replacing any person’s health program back in their home country, but the ability for whatever has been identified by the medical practitioners, who are working at the Healthy Athletes Program, can then be supported by the Health practitioners back in their home country. That’s the powerful piece that Special Olympics has to be applauded for.

The program’s tailored for people with intellectual disability. The value of it is that the practitioners become knowledgeable about how to communicate with people with an intellectual disability, how to understand and receive the information from them what their health status is, and communicate with them well. So what I think the valuable part is the training up of health professionals to better communicate with people with an intellectual disability.

It’s an extraordinary powerful result, that in this Winter Games, 300 medical professionals now know better how to serve a significant part of this potential patient list.”

Continued Health Access in Asia Pacific

(L to R): Alex McNeilly, Special Olympics Australia, Colleen Condon, Senator Jan McLucas, Kerrie Punshon, Darcie Mersereau, Special Olympics International, Tony McGee, AusAid.

Senator McLucas also met two Australian volunteer clinical directors, Kerrie Punshon and Colleen Condon, who are being trained for the Healthy Athletes program from Special Olympics Australia , preparing for the upcoming 2013 Asia Pacific Region Games.

Alex McNeilly, General Manager from Special Olympics Australia said, "We know that over 2000 athletes from 27 countries across the Asia Pacific Region will have access to the program and for many, it will be the first time they have had an opportunity to be screened and provided with information and education to improving their own well being." He also expressed his appreciation to Kerrie and Colleen for their commitment and support in attending the official training here in Kwandong University.

View Sen. McLucas' day here