Padraig Harrington honoured for his work as Global Ambassador

Three-time Major Champion, Padraig Harrington receives the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Commemorative Coin in recognition of his dedication to Special Olympics athletes and their families.

Recognition for his work

Special Olympics athlete David Mitchell presents Padraig with a the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Commemorative Coin at the Castle Stuart Golf Links, Inverness.

Inverness, Scotland: Three-time Major Champion, Padraig Harrington has today been honoured by Special Olympics  – the world’s largest sports organisation for people with intellectual disabilities - at the Castle Stuart Golf Links, Inverness ahead of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, in appreciation of his tireless commitment to Special Olympics athletes and their families.  

Special Olympics Great Britain athlete David Mitchell officially presented Padraig with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver 1995 Commemorative Special Olympics Silver Coin on behalf of the global Special Olympics family in recognition of his dedication to the movement. Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of President John F. Kennedy and Founder of Special Olympics, who was born on this day, July 10th  1921, is the only woman to have her portrait appear, during her lifetime, on a US coin.   

Golf Clinics for Athletes

Padraig holding a golf clinic with Special Olympics athletes at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Since becoming a Special Olympics Global Ambassador in May 2010, Padraig has generously donated his time and expertise to the Special Olympics Movement across the world by conducting golf clinics for athletes and coaches, most recently at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. 

 Padraig also proudly ‘Wears the Laces’ for Special Olympics on the golfing circuit. The red shoe laces have recently captured the attention of golf commentators and fans, helping to raise awareness for Special Olympics and promote a message of respect, inclusion and acceptance for all people with intellectual disabilities. Padraig will again ‘Wear the Laces’ this week during the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

Proud to be involved

David and Padraig Wearing the Laces!

Padraig Harrington states: “The work that I do for the athletes of Special Olympics is something I am proud of and I will continue to try to help and inspire them to be the best athletes they can be. I am just happy to be able to play a part in the organisation which changes lives every day for people with intellectual disabilities and  I am very pleased to have received the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Commemorative Coin today. She made a significant difference to the lives of millions of people across the world.”

Mary Davis, Regional President Special Olympics Europe Eurasia: “Padraig is a remarkable Ambassador for Special Olympics and it is particularly poignant that he receives the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Commemorative Coin today, the date of her birthday. Through Padraig our athletes get the opportunity to meet one of their golfing heroes and learn from him the importance of staying focused and the values of hard work and practice.  He inspires the athletes he meets to be the best that they can be and we thank Padraig for his unwavering support and generosity.”

Athlete David Mitchell

David Mitchell enjoyed meeting his golfing hero!

Biography of Special Olympics Great Britain athlete David Mitchell:

30 year old David is passionate about golf and Padraig Harrington is one of his all-time golfing heroes. David won Gold in his division at the 2005 Special Olympics Great Britain National Summer Games in Glasgow. In 2010 he took home a Silver medal after competing in Denmark at the Special Olympics Idraets Festival involving 600 athletes.  He has also played alongside Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel at a golfing charity event! David has represented Scotland in the Triple Crown Tournament involving England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. When he’s not on the golf course David works at 'Williamson's Foodservice' in Inverness where his brother Andrew is a Supervisor. Visit Special Olympics Great Britain

About Special Olympics:

Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics Movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 4 million athletes in over 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs. Special Olympics takes place every day, changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities in places like China and from regions like the Middle East to the community playgrounds and ball fields in every small neighbourhood’s backyard. Special Olympics provide people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. Visit

Wear the Laces Campaign:

To ‘Wear the Laces’ is simple: purchase special red shoe laces with the Special Olympics logo emblazoned on them. The aim of the ‘Wear the Laces’ campaign is to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics internationally. The symbolic goal of the project is to encourage people to walk side by side, tied together by a common thread of respect, acceptance and inclusion. When you ‘Wear the Laces’ you are making it possible for the Special Olympics Movement to transform more lives through the power of sport and you declare that you are a fan of dignity and inclusion. The ‘Wear the Laces’ campaign was launched in Europe in September 2010 with Laces now being sold right across the globe. Visit