Project Healthy Athlete & Community
Special Olympics Czech Movement brings together intellectually disabled athletes and at the same time it is the guarantor of a global project Healthy Community, which aim is to promote healthy lifestyle and preventive and a follow-up medical care for people with intellectual disabilities.
The Czech Republic is one of three European countries who participates in a grant project called the Healthy Athlete – Community. This project is focused on creating "healthy communities" which popularize physical activity, education and training in sport, nutrition and health care to people with intellectual disabilities. During the sports activities, fitness indicators are measured and they serve as a basis for a subsequent health care. The fitness and health indicators, measured by trained professionals, include: teeth and hearing examination, fitness indicators, health promotion and feet and gait screening. Furthermore, other professionals are currently trained for the eye examination, hygiene and nutrition screening.
The project length is 3 years, from May 2016 to March 2019. On the annual evaluation there is a possibility to extend the project by another year. The project is funded by SOI and an American entrepreneur and philanthropist Thomas Golisano.
This project has covered 6 locations in the Czech Republic. Faculty of Sports Studies is a manager of one of the localities (Brno) and also the coordinator for others. Locations have been carefully selected to enable a comparison not only of the basic differences in relation to age, gender, but also in relation to the type of lifestyle - in a family, institution, protected housing etc. The project Healthy Athlete - Community investigates indicators of healthy life style availability for people with intellectual disabilities and secure these indicators to guarantee intellectually disabled people access to the health care based on the fitness indicators.
It is always important in a given location to connect within a Triangle not only a university or other educational institution, intellectually disabled athletes and their families, but also representatives of local politics with the aim to involve them in the project activities to become interested in the needs of intellectually disabled people.