The Special Olympics movement is active in 170 countries. Its mission is to enrich the lives of individuals with an intellectual disability (ID) through sport. More than 4.2 millions special athletes of all ages are registered worldwide and over 34,000 in Canada, with more than 6,250 taking part in the recreational or competition programs offered throughout Québec. SOQ's network of annual competitions includes 80 events for all skill levels and in each of its 17 official sports.
In addition to programs specifically designed for people living with an intellectual disability, the Special Olympics movement encourages and facilitates their access to regular sports programs offered in their community in specific sports. It also has technical training and professional development opportunities for its members and volunteers.
Furthermore, the movement supports the establishment and development of local committees with the task of linking its activities and programs with those of existing sports clubs and associations in their communities. At the heart of our mission, the integration into society of athletes living with an intellectual disability is an increasingly topical issue. Special athletes take part in the Montreal Games, in the regional and provincial finals of the Québec Games and in the Canada Games.
Finally, SOQ provides tools and organizes promotional activities to raise public awareness of the benefits of sports in the development and inclusion of people of all ages living with an intellectual disability.