Youth Cooking Up Inclusion

Special Olympics brings athletes with and without ID together through sport, but one pair of Special Olympics Youth Leaders from Zimbabwe asks, “beyond Special Olympic sport, what is next?” Isaac and Munyaradzi answer that question through their shared love for cooking. Guided by the tenets of wellness, nutrition, hydration, and fitness, they want to promote health beyond the playing field and in the kitchen. Issac and Munyaradzi hope to create a Unified Cooking experience in their community that acknowledges the importance of nutrition and promotes healthy lifestyles by educating their peers on how to prepare healthy meals.


Isaac and Munyaradzi’s Youth Innovation Project, called Unified Chefs, will engage 20 schools to promote inclusion through an inclusive, interscholastic cooking competition. There will be district-level competitions that will advance selected groups to a larger competition hosted in conjunction with the annual Chefs Association of Zimbabwe cooking competition. Isaac and Munyaradzi look forward to collaborating with the Chefs Association of Zimbabwe and introducing the organization to the Special Olympics culture of inclusion!


Through their partnership with the Chefs Association, Isaac and Munyaradzi plan to create a new category in their annual cooking competition designed for the Unified teams from their district-wide competitions to compete in. They hope that this event will be adopted by the Zimbabwe Chef’s association to be repeated every year and eventually make it beyond the national level to regional competitions in Africa as well.


Isaac and Munyaradzi look forward to showcasing talent outside of sport by using culinary arts to build a healthier, inclusive community and a Unified Generation.