In the early sixties, Dr. Frank Hayden, a Toronto researcher and teacher, demonstrated that, when given the chance, people with an intellectual disability could increase their fitness level as well as their social and motor skills through sports.
His research drew the attention of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and the Washington-based Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation and led to the creation of Special Olympics Inc. in 1968.
In September 1981. The Special Olympics movement celebrated its 30th anniversary in Québec in 2011.
It was founded in 1981 by Noëlla Douglas. Today retired, she was an educator in a rehabilitation centre for people with an intellectual disability.
The SOQ annual schedule of events includes 80 competitions in all 17 sports included in the program.
In addition, in a 4-year cycle, there are Provincial multisport Games (summer-winter) at which are selected the members of the Québec team which will participate in the following year's National Games which in turn will serve for the selection of the team going to the World Games.
2011: Athens (Greece) (World Summer Games)
2010: London (Ontario) (National Summer Games)
2009: St-Jean-sur-Richelieu (Québec) (Provincial Summer Games)
2009: Boise (Idaho, USA) (World Winter Games)
2008: Québec City (National Winter Games)
2007: Shanghai (World Summer Games)
2007: Salaberry-de-Valleyfield (Provincial Winter Games)
2006: Brandon (National Summer Games)
2005: St-Jérôme (Provincial Summer Games)
As far as networking in the field of adapted sport and ID (intellectual disability), our clientele, we work jointly with regional associations such as the ARLPH (regional recreation associations for the disabled), namely AlterGo on the island of Montreal, and with the URLS (regional recreation and sports units). The CRDI (rehabilitation centres for intellectual disabilities) are also valuable partners in recruiting athletes and promoting physical activity for people living with an intellectual disability.
Thanks to the hard work of an army of volunteers dedicated to training and accompanying our athletes and organizing our sport and fund-raising activities, we are able to do a lot. Both their vitality and the generosity of our partners in the business world, the community and the public sector are key to the movement's success in Québec and elsewhere.
Our funds come from :
Our main annual fund-raising activities are :