(Hong Kong, 19 July 2018) FWD Group (“FWD”) and Special Olympics International join hands for a long-term partnership to support young people with intellectual disabilities. Featuring two key initiatives, the Unified Schools and Athlete Leadership programmes, the collaboration takes place in FWD’s seven operating regions in Asia including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and Japan, and aims to help Special Olympics athletes develop their potential and confidence while encouraging social inclusion.
Launching the local partnership today, FWD Hong Kong and Special Olympics Hong Kong (“SOHK”) also took the occasion to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics and the 5th anniversary of FWD Hong Kong.
Ken Lau, FWD Managing Director of Greater China and Hong Kong Chief Executive Officer said, “This meaningful partnership spans our seven operating markets in Asia. It exemplifies our commitment to the community and our goal of empowering people to live life to the fullest. This also resonates with Special Olympics’ vision of enhancing the potential and self-confidence of people with intellectual disabilities through sports. We are delighted to partner with Special Olympics to help athletes enrich their own life experiences, while enhancing visibility and understanding of people with intellectual disabilities.”
Laura Ling, Chairlady of SOHK said, “We are honoured to partner with FWD on the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics, which is such a special occasion. FWD’s support allows SOHK to nurture more athlete leaders and mentors, and establish collaborations with local organisations in order to secure job opportunities for athletes in the future. Through our collaboration with local schools, we can also create bridge of communication between youngsters of both with or without intellectual disabilities, building harmonious environments in school and in the society.”
Also in attendance at the ceremony were notable Hong Kong athletes Yapp Hung-fai, Hong Kong football team goalkeeper and “Marathon Couple” Yiu Kit-ching and Chan Ka-ho, alongside more than 100 Special Olympics athletes, students from unified schools and FWD volunteers. During the ceremony, the attendees participated in a game of bocce, a sport unique to the Special Olympics, and emerging sport dodgebee, to showcase the spirit of social inclusion while showing how sports can bring people together and change people’s lives.
Unified Schools, an initiative supported by the partnership to celebrate inclusion and acceptance, aims to unify six schools every year and engage 800 young people through 17 sporting and non-sporting activities. Athlete Leadership aims to empower 30 Special Olympics athletes and mentors in a series of skills development workshops to further their skills in the workplace and in their everyday lives. FWD and Special Olympics will also collaborate with local employment agencies and companies to help athletes develop their leadership potential and search for employment opportunities.