The International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Special Olympics have announced an agreement for a long-term “strategic” partnership.
As part of the relationship, the ITF will provide a host of tennis based services, including coaching and teaching resources, as well as its support of the Special Olympics and the sport’s inclusion in their work.
Special Olympics will, in return, recognize the ITF as one of their international partners and use the ITF’s Play and Stay/Tennis 10 campaigns as training and competition programs for people with intellectual disabilities.
They will also look to increase the number of tennis schools and tennis players with intellectual disabilities around the world.
“The ITF is very pleased to partner with Special Olympics and be a small part of the important work that they do every day around the world,” said ITF President David Haggerty. “We share common values with a strong focus on providing sporting opportunities for all and recognise the positive impact that sport can have on the lives of children and adults with intellectual disabilities.”
Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 5.3 million athletes and unified partners in 169 countries.
With the support of more than a million coaches and volunteers, the Special Olympics delivers 32 “Olympic-type” sports and more than 108,000 games and competitions throughout the year to people with intellectual disabilities.
“Special Olympics looks forward to a meaningful partnership with the International Tennis Federation and their 211 member nations, giving access to our athletes for coaching, training and other opportunities,” said Jon-Paul St. Germain, the Special Olympics’ sport partnerships senior director. “It is also very important to us to have ITF support for the inclusion of tennis in Special Olympics.”
By Max Winters