Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Extra Support for our Special Olympians

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Kate Ellis MP, Minister for Sport

Sports Minister Kate Ellis today announced $55,000 in funding for Special Olympics Australia to help our Special Olympians prepare for the 2011 International Games in Greece.

“This funding will enable our Special Olympics Team to participate in important training camps which will help prepare our athletes in the lead-up to Athens” said Ms Ellis.

“It is important that all Australians have an opportunity to be enriched by sport, including Australians with intellectual disability who aspire to compete at an international level” she added.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities Bill Shorten welcomed the funding announcement.

“Australians with disability deserve the chance to experience the benefits of competitive sport and the Special Olympics is a great event which gives athletes with an intellectual disability the chance to compete on the world stage, and recognises their efforts and achievement.”

“I would like to pay tribute to the athletes, administrators and volunteers involved in the Special Olympics and I wish the Australian team all the best in the lead up to the Games” said Mr Shorten.

“Special Olympics is delighted with the Minister’s announcement of funding for Special Olympics athletes,” Special Olympics Australia CEO, Catriona Barry, said.

“Athletes currently being selected for their State at the national games in Adelaide will be in with a chance to represent Australia on the world stage in Athens in 2011. Knowing the Federal Government is providing this support to make sure athletes are properly trained will make the national occasion even more prestigious” she added.

This funding is in addition to the Government’s commitment in the 2008 Budget of funding to Special Olympics Australia of $300,000 a year for four years and ASC support of $145,000 in 2008/09.

“These grants follow the Australian Government investing $12.6 million to extend support for high performance sport until June 2010.

The Government also announced $5.5 million in additional ASC grants in February, with increased revenue helping generate the return to sport.