Labor backs Special Olympics National and Junior Games

A Shorten Labor Government will invest $1 million to support the Special Olympics Junior Games in 2020 and National Games in 2022 in Launceston, Tasmania.

The 2018 National Games in Adelaide attracted around 1,000 athletes from all states and territories, and more than 2,000 participants are expected across the 2020 Junior National Games and 2022 National Games in Launceston.

Shadow Minister for Disability and Carers, Senator Carol Brown, said Labor’s support would help athletes and their families travel to and participate in the games.

“Labor understands that people with intellectual disability can be some of the most isolated and marginalised in our community and we want to give them a fair go when it comes to sport,” Senator Brown said.

“Our investment in the Special Olympics Junior and National Games in Launceston will ensure thousands of Australian athletes with an intellectual disability have the opportunity to travel to Tasmania next year and in 2022 to participate in the Games and gain a sense of pride, inclusion and personal achievement.”

Federal Member for Bass, Ross Hart said hosting the Special Olympics Junior and National Games would help promote positive community attitudes towards disability and sport for all Australians, and would deliver social and economic and benefits to Launceston.

“Labor’s commitment won’t just provide a huge economic contribution to Launceston, it will also give Tasmanians the opportunity to witness the incredible achievement, determination and ability of the athletes,” Mr Hart said.

Special Olympics Australia CEO Corene Strauss said the Games were particularly important to Australians with an intellectual disability because disabilities could be exacerbated by lower rates of physical activity than the general population.

“This funding to support the Games is such a far-reaching investment because our Games assist people with intellectual disabilities and their families to make connections with support networks inside the disability community at the same time as positively changing attitudes around intellectual disability within our host cities,” Ms Strauss said.

“We are delighted to secure this commitment from Federal Labor and thank them for their support.”

Shadow Minister for Sport, Senator Don Farrell, said Labor is committed to supporting a fair go for all Australians when it comes to sport, whether they want to compete at the Special Olympics or just enjoy the health and social benefits of participation.

“If Labor is elected, this $1 million in funding will be in addition to delivering the $1.4 million allocated Special Olympics Australia in the Budget.

“Our investments in disability sport initiatives will help ensure all Australians have the opportunity to enjoy and benefit from sport and physical activity,” Senator Farrell said.

This election is a choice between better services and supports for people with intellectual disabilities, or bigger tax handouts to the top end of town under the Liberals.

After six years of Liberal cuts and chaos, our united Labor team is ready to deliver a fair go for all Australians. 

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