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Healthy Communities

The Healthy Communities initiative brings an integrated approach to sports, health and athlete wellbeing.

The Healthy Communities vision is to promote the health and wellbeing of Special Olympics athletes and others with intellectual disability, to enable people with an intellectual disability to have the same access to health and wellness resources as other members of the community and to be able to attain the same level of good health.

Developing partnerships and building an awareness of the health needs of people with intellectual disability will pave the way to improved access to health care services and follow-up. Healthy lifestyle choices will be supported by health education, health promotion and participation in sport.

Healthy Communities - an introductory brochure

Introducing our Healthy Communities Coordinator - Rachel ClarkeRachel-Clarke.jpg

The Healthy Communities Coordinator role aims to achieve three key objectives: 

  1. To support and develop the integration of health and sport within the Special Olympics community in New Zealand. Sport promotes health and good health enables effective participation in sport.
  2. To support the further development of the Healthy Athletes screening programme by developing referral and follow-up processes which will promote the health and wellbeing of our athletes.
  3. To provide accessible health education for athletes, families/whānau, community service providers and other organisations in order to promote the health and wellbeing of athletes.
Rachel has a background in nursing, mental health and health education, she has a passion for supporting people with intellectual disabilities and making a practical difference to the community.

Rachel is currently focusing on supporting the Healthy Athletes Programme at the 2017 National Summer Games in November where four screening programmes will be hosted: Fit Feet, Healthy Hearing, Opening Eyes and Special Smiles. Rachel's work is also to support the Clinical Directors for each of our five disciplines.

You are invited to join the 'Healthy Communities' forum...

Are you a health professional or health educator? Do you have a passion for health and wellbeing? Do you work in the health and wellbeing industry? I am keen to build connections with people around health and with those who are working in health. Email me with your contact details and I will add you to the 'Healthy Communities' forum group. You will receive an occasional email about the work I am doing as the Healthy Communities Coordinator for Special Olympics New Zealand. I am happy to receive your questions, suggestions and feedback.


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