Kerry Group is extending its partnership with Special Olympics for another two years, including the commencement of a new relationship with Special Olympics Germany, the upcoming host country for the Special Olympics World Summer Games 2023. As an Official Sponsor of Special Olympics, this new partnership is enabling both organisations to work better together to create more inclusive communities.
The programme will continue to build on key focus areas including; creating more inclusive communities, support for Special Olympics’ Athlete Leadership programme to champion employability of people with intellectual disabilities and employee volunteering and fundraising. To date, the partnership has proved to be a fantastic success with strong involvement from Kerry employees with the Special Olympics National Programmes in Ireland, Great Britain, Netherlands and Poland.
Since the initial partnership launch in March 2018, Kerry Group is proud to have worked with Special Olympics to encourage the potential of many athletes and individuals with an intellectual disability. This has led to a number of key impacts and achievements including:
- Supporting 6,539 athletes across the four activation countries of this partnership to train and compete in 2,022 events
- Supporting many of their 985 Special Olympics Athlete Leaders through seminars, mentoring and giving Athlete Leaders the opportunity to speak at Kerry internal events. Special Olympics Athlete Leadership programme encourages athletes to develop skills that will empower them to be advocates for all athletes and act as a Leader for Special Olympics
- Creating a sustainable pathway to employment for people with intellectual disabilities within Kerry and the hiring of colleagues with intellectual disabilities at various locations across UK & Ireland.
Commenting on the announcement, Edmond Scanlon, CEO of Kerry Group, said: “As the world leading Taste and Nutrition company, we are committed to making a positive social impact where we can, in a way that is ‘Better for Communities’ as part of our ‘Beyond the Horizon’ sustainability strategy. I am delighted to extend our partnership with Special Olympics that will continue to empower their wide network of athletes, families and volunteers. As part of our diversity, inclusion and belonging goals at Kerry, we are challenging ourselves to do more to pathway employment opportunities for people with disability within our business. Special Olympics is an organisation that has successfully opened the hearts and minds of the world to people with intellectual disabilities, including so many of us at Kerry, through our interactions and experiences with athletes over the last two years. I’m incredibly proud of our partnership to date and look forward to building on the momentum.”
Mary Davis, CEO of Special Olympics International commended the partnership renewal: “We are delighted to be partnering with Kerry Group for the next two years in Ireland, Great Britain, Poland and Germany. Kerry Group is an ideal partner for Special Olympics, as the Kerry Group DNA very much focuses on championing equal rights for all individuals, regardless of our differences. Our athletes face immense challenges in their everyday lives and many of these issues have been heightened by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We are delighted that Kerry is taking up the challenge of helping to create a more inclusive world for all. On behalf of the Special Olympics movement, I want to thank Kerry Group and we look forward to a very fruitful and successful partnership.”
Whilst many events and competitions are on hold due to the pandemic situation the aim is that over the next two years, Kerry Group’s inclusive employability efforts will continue and its Europe-based employees will support Special Olympics programmes in Ireland, GB, Poland and now Germany, which will include a mix of event-based volunteering, ongoing skill-based opportunities and providing nutrition advice and support.
About Special Olympics
Founded in 1968, Special Olympics is a global movement to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. We foster acceptance of all people through the power of sport and programming in education, health, and leadership. With more than six million athletes and Unified Sports partners in over 190 countries and territories and more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers more than 30 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions every year. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and our blog on Medium. Learn more at www.SpecialOlympics.org.