Celebrating Champions of Inclusion

July 2022

Special Olympics Australia is asking people to sign their Inclusion Pledge.

Special Olympics Australia has been celebrating champions of inclusion during July, with the campaign featuring social media content, and an announcement of a new celebrity ambassador, Miss Universe Australia Daria Varlamova, joining the frontline of advocacy for inclusion of children and adult with intellectual disabilities.

The campaign to promote awareness and encourage people to sign the pledge has been joined by Special Olympics partner, the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The iconic global sporting venue lit up red – the renowned colour of Special Olympics – to raise awareness about inclusion and access to accessible sport for everyone.

Pierre Comis, Special Olympics Chief Executive Officer, said he was delighted with the MCG’s support. “We’re very grateful for the support from the MCG and having their help to draw attention to inclusion for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The MCG are heartfelt partners with Special Olympics and true Champions of Inclusion,” Pierre said.

Sally Macindoe, Chair of the MCC Foundation, said; “The MCC Foundation has partnered with Special Olympics Australia since 2019 and we are delighted to once again help shine a light, both literally and figuratively, on the importance of inclusion.”

Signing the Inclusion Pledge is a personal commitment to fighting for justice and joy, and respecting people of all abilities in sports, schools, workplaces, and communities around Australia.

For more than 45 years, Special Olympics Australia has been breaking down barriers through sport to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. With Champions of Inclusion in support, Special Olympics has been leading the charge for respecting and embracing all differences and abilities. Champions of Inclusion are people with or without intellectual disabilities, who choose to strive to build a better world, while championing respect and fostering a community of inclusion

For young people like Chris, as Special Olympics athlete from New South Wales, Special Olympics is the chance to be accepted, often for the very first time. “Special Olympics has given me the opportunity to play sport, make friends, and have fun. Winning a gold medal at the Special Olympics World Games was a pivotal moment in my life because after I won, when I went back to my high school, I spoke to my high school community. I become more than just a boy with down syndrome. I became visible,” Chris said.

Sign the Inclusion Pledge here.



Special Olympics Australia strives to ensure that everyone living with an intellectual disability can participate in sport. We provide:

  • Weekly grassroots sporting, recreational, social and health activities in local communities around Australia.
  • An environment where people with an intellectual disability can develop physical fitness, build self-esteem, demonstrate courage, and make friends.
  • Competition pathways ranging from weekly club events, to regional, state, and national games, culminating in the Special Olympics World Games.