What We Do > About Us

Changing lives through sport and education

Founded in 1991 and accredited by Special Olympics Incorporated, Special Olympics South Africa (SOSA) is dedicated to providing sports training for men, women and children with intellectual disabilities.

Through our work we hope to empower SOSA athletes to shatter stereotypes and exceed their personal best in all walks of life. We are focused on providing a better, healthier and happier life for intellectually disabled people. Dr. Mathews Phosa along with a new board of directors was appointed, in 2005, to spearhead the growth and awareness of Special Olympics South Africa.

What do we do?

  • We empower nearly 45 000 talented athletes to realise their sporting dreams
  • We offer training in 18 official sports
  • We provide opportunities to athletes from 9 provinces
  • We provide more than 1000 competition opportunities yearly


What is an intellectual disability?

The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities says an “intellectual disability is characterised by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and adaptive behaviour as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical skills. This disability originates before the age of 18”.  click here to learn more about intellectual disabilities.

The Mission

The global mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. We provide continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Our Vision

To transform how people view individuals with intellectual disabilities. We want to encourage and inspire South African communities to broaden their minds, to accept and to include people with intellectual disabilities. It’s about celebrating our similarities, not our differences.

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contact special olympics south africa

(011) 706 3323



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