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Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia (SOPA-Philly) program spreads compassion and acceptance in a way that can unite our community. Our goal is to awaken everyone to each person’s common humanity. Understanding brings acceptance; acceptances bring peace. This vision of inclusion starts at the local level.
SOPA-Philly reaches out to communities through a wide range of trainings, competitions, health screenings and fund-raising events. We also create opportunities for families, community members, local leaders, businesses, law enforcement, celebrities, dignitaries and others to band together to change attitudes and support athletes.
Attitudes and perceptions matter — because they affect how people treat each other. Are we treating each other with respect and dignity? Or are we clinging to misperceptions and stereotypes?
SOPA-Philly is raising awareness about the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. Through sports, we showcase the skills and dignity of our athletes. We also bring together communities to see and take part in the transformative power of sports.
We know the odds our athletes must overcome and the barriers they face every single day. We see this at training events and competitions as our athletes push to beat their personal bests — and exceed them. Their stories and successes inspire us all.
Through programs like Healthy Athletes and events like the MedFest, SOPA-Philly offers FREE health services and information to athletes in dire need. In fact, Special Olympics has become the largest global public health organization dedicated to serving people with intellectual disabilities, and we’re part of that!
Healthy Athletes currently offers health screenings in seven areas: Fit Feet (podiatry), FUNfitness (physical therapy), Health Promotion (better health and well-being), Healthy Hearing (audiology), MedFest (sports physical exam), Opening Eyes (vision) and Special Smiles (dentistry).
Healthy Athletes organizes its events in a welcoming, fun environment. Its screenings educate athletes on healthy lifestyle choices and identify problems that may need additional follow-up. To read more about upcoming Healthy Athletes events, please click here.