This past week, the Special Olympics World Games took place in Berlin coinciding with the Women's Tennis Association’s (WTA) bett1open presented by ecotrans Group. In a continuation of the WTA Charities’ partnership with Special Olympics, WTA stars took place in a series of event sharing the importance of diversity and inclusivity in sports.
To celebrate the event, WTA stars such as two-time Grand Slam champion, Li Na, two-time Grand Slam doubles champion, Vania King and 13-time WTA doubles champion, Gaby Dabrowski, took part in a Unified Sport Experience where they were paired with Special Olympics athletes for unofficial competition.
Dabrowski, who is a Global Ambassador for Special Olympics, also took part in the Opening Ceremony for the World Games marching into Olympic Stadium alongside athletes from Special Olympics Poland while fellow WTA players, Alexa Guarachi and Erin Routliffe watched on from the crowd. She said of the event: “As a proud supporter of Special Olympics, it was an honour to be able to march alongside these incredible athletes.”
In addition to the on-court activities, King participated in the 2023 Special Olympics’ Women in Sports panel. The group, comprised of some of the most pioneering female leaders in sport, gathered in Berlin alongside the World Games to discuss leveling the playing field and engaging women and girls at all levels.
WTA Charities and Special Olympics have been working together since 2017 collaborating on ways to engage athletes from both organizations. In tandem with the WTA’s commitment to equality, Special Olympics uses the power of sport as a catalyst for change helping people with intellectual disabilities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, build confidence and create friendships on and off the playing field.