Bridging the Gap between Athletes and Events in New Zealand

Bridging the Gap between Athletes and Events in New Zealand

Grace and Jack are Special Olympics Youth Leaders from New Zealand who participated in the 2019 Youth for Inclusion Summit in Singapore. Together, Grace and Jack will lead a Youth Innovation Project aiming to increase the mobility of individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) in their community. Although their local Special Olympics club offers great events that they love to attend, many individuals with ID in their area struggle to find transportation to these events. In order to bridge this gap, Grace and Jack are working with existing transportation services to make them more accessible to their athletes. The pair also hopes to increase accessibility by creating an app to help track transportation services. By connecting athletes to local events, Grace and Jack are working to make their community truly inclusive.

Over the course of a year, Grace and Jack will collaborate with individuals with ID to bring community together through Special Olympics. They will begin by developing focus groups to identify the needs of local individuals with intellectual disabilities. Using this information, they will work with local transportation services to develop and market new routes, connecting athletes to events. In order to make these services user-friendly, Grace and Jack will also develop an app for the athletes and others to organize rides and track routes. After the first few months the two plan to expand the program to other Special Olympics clubs nearby. Grace and Jack’s project will be crucial to increasing the effectiveness of their programs and promoting inclusion in their community.