By Andrea Phillips
WHEN SPECIAL Olympics Australia called for logo and brand designs for its National Games being held in Launceston in October 2022, Kate Stokes was driven to answer.
The design brief required a brand which reflected the joy of sport, the enthusiasm of Special Olympics athletes, a celebration of ability, and the unique identity of Launceston.
- Kate Stokes, winner of the Special Olympics Australia National Games brand and logo design competition.
Kate is a Launceston-based graphic designer who has always lived in Tasmania. She was motivated to enter the competition after helping her nephews, Harry, 17 and Thomas, 15, play in an all-abilities touch football program.
Harry and Thomas have Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes intellectual disability and behavioural and learning challenges.
All-abilities programs enable children with and without disability to play together, often for the first time.
“Seeing Harry and Tommy come out of their shells and interact with children and adults without disability was heart-warming,” Kate said.
“Inclusive sport breaks down barriers.”
Kate is a passionate Manly Sea Eagles fan and has played touch football together with her sister Claire – mother to Harry and Thomas – for 25 years.
“Seeing my nephews receive the same opportunity to be included and supported and seeing the smiles on their faces brought me so much joy. I wanted to be involved in the Games to help share the love, passion and excitement that participating in sport brings, and to be connected to an organisation that impacts thousands of lives in such a positive way.”
The logo – inspired by her nephews’ experience – celebrates inclusivity in sport, but Kate says that unfortunately, inclusive sport programs lack exposure and that she has observed that scarce funding is a barrier to their availability.
“Our experience in relation to Harry and Tommy is that families must actively seek information about them.”
Harry and Tommy take part in swimming programs affiliated to Special Olympics Australia through New Horizons. Harry has also played in a Special Olympics tennis program and Tommy does Special Olympics programs at Launceston’s Northern Support School.
Kate does voluntary graphic design-related work for the Fragile X Association of Australia and dreams of seeing the Manly Sea Eagles wear orange socks in support of Fragile X awareness.
She looks forward to volunteering at Special Olympics Australia’s National Games next year, which are expected to attract 1,000 athletes with intellectual disability from across Australia to compete across 10 competition and four demonstration sports.
For more information about the Special Olympics Australia National Games in Launceston in October 2022, contact:
Bredette Koen, Games Director | 0450 009 273 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Olympics Australia strives to ensure that everyone living with an intellectual disability can participate in sport, providing: