Special Olympics Europe Eurasia (SOEE) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) have signed a partnership which aims to increase media coverage of athletes with intellectual disabilities to a global audience.
The partnership will deliver increased news coverage opportunities for the Special Olympics movement among the EBU’s membership of public service media organisations, it is claimed.
The SOEE and EBU said this will help ensure athletes with intellectual disabilities and their achievements receive increased visibility.
The partnership comes prior to two Special Olympics World Games taking place in Europe in the next three years.
Russian city Kazan will host the Special Olympics World Winter Games in 2022, before the Special Olympics World Games is held in Berlin in 2023.
David Evangelista, President and Managing Director of SOEE, said the partnership provides a major boost ahead of the two major events.
"Our partnership with the EBU represents a significant opportunity to bring the message of our athletes and movement to an ever greater, audience across the world," Evangelista said.
"This opens up a new platform for our movement, covering close to 90 nations globally, where our athletes’ experience and achievements can be shared and celebrated with greater visibility.
"This is a powerful boost to our European coverage potential as we look toward the 2022 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Kazan and the 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Berlin.
"Thank you, EBU, for joining our effort to bring inclusion the world over."
The EBU has 115 member organisations in 56 European countries with an additional 33 Associates in Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas.
Their members have nearly 2,000 television, radio, and online channels and services, which is claimed to reach one billion people worldwide.
"We believe sport should be enjoyed by all – as participants or fans," said Eurovision Sport executive director Glen Killane.
"Thanks to our unique network of public service broadcasters, we will ensure audiences throughout Europe are able to celebrate the achievements of the Special Olympics athletes and spread the message of inclusion across the continent."
The 2022 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Kazan is expected to be the primary focus of the partnership.
The Games will open January 22 next year, with 2,000 2,000 Special Olympics athletes from over 100 countries expected to compete across in seven sports.
The 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Berlin will feature 7,000 athletes from 17 countries, with 24 sports on the programme.