Special Olympics Australia is pleased to announce a historic three-year partnership with The Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC).
The agreement will see the MCC become Major Partners of Special Olympics Australia.
The partnership was announced today at an event, held at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) recognising Special Olympics Victoria members of Team Australia.
Members of Team Australia were presented their official team uniforms on the famous turf of the MCG by Victorian Governor the Honourable Linda Dessau before heading to the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi next month.
This is the first time the MCC has partnered with a disability organisation and Chief Executive Officer Stuart Fox said providing access to sport was a key pillar of the club’s corporate social responsibility.
“The MCC’s ambition is to be recognised as a leading contributor to the community via our ongoing sustainability and environmental initiatives as well as support for causes and groups,” Mr Fox said.
“Special Olympics Australia reaches more than 8000 registered athletes, school participants and Disability Service Provider participants – plus over 16,000 parents and carers.
“There are over 1300 volunteers driving the organisation across the community Australia-wide and we’re delighted to partner with this wonderful sporting and humanitarian organisation to create accessible opportunities and support people with intellectual disabilities.”
Special Olympics Australia Chief Executive Officer Corene Strauss praised the vision and commitment of the MCC to helping make Australia a more inclusive society and acting upon the need to include people with intellectual disabilities in everyday life.
"This partnership is a huge step in the right direction for ensuring people with intellectual disabilities are included in Australia,” Ms Strauss said.
"Together Special Olympics Australia and the MCC will be able to raise the profile of sporting opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities and help break down the barriers to improving health outcomes for one of Australia’s most marginalised communities.
“People with intellectual disabilities are often excluded, misunderstood, face inequality, injustices and misdiagnosis. Opportunities for employment, education, health care, social engagement and other aspects of daily life that most people take for granted are routinely denied to people with intellectual disabilities.
"With this partnership at the 'People’s Ground', we hope that inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities can become as much a part of the fabric of Melbourne and Australia as the MCG is.
"This ground has a place in people’s hearts. We're very proud that this ground has found a place in its heart for people with intellectual disabilities.