27 February, 2019

MCC Choose to Include with Special Olympics historic partnership

The Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) is pleased to announce a historic three-year partnership with Special Olympics Australia.

 The agreement will see the MCC become a Major Partner of Special Olympics Australia. 

The partnership was announced today at an event, held at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) recognising Special Olympics Victoria members of Team Australia. 

Members of Team Australia were presented their official team uniforms on the famous turf of the MCG by Victorian Governor the Honourable Linda Dessau before heading to the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi next month. 

This is the first time the MCC has partnered with a disability organisation and Chief Executive Officer Stuart Fox said providing access to sport for all was a key pillar of the club’s corporate social responsibility.

“The MCC and MCG have a very special place in people’s hearts when it comes to sport and we are determined to make sure we play a role in helping to provide access to sport for everyone. We are so proud to be supporting the incredible work Special Olympics Australia does for all it its athletes.” Mr Fox said.

“Special Olympics Australia reaches more than 7000 registered athletes, school participants and Disability Service Provider participants – plus over 16,000 parents and carers.

“There are over 1300 volunteers driving the organisation across the community Australia-wide and we’re delighted to partner with this wonderful sporting and humanitarian organisation to create accessible opportunities and support people with intellectual disabilities.”

Special Olympics Australia Chief Executive Officer Corene Strauss praised the vision and commitment of the MCC to helping make Australia a more inclusive society and acting upon the need to include people with intellectual disabilities in everyday life. 

"This partnership is a huge step in the right direction for ensuring people with intellectual disabilities are included in Australia,” Ms Strauss said. 

"Together Special Olympics Australia and the MCC will be able to raise the profile of sporting opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities and help break down the barriers to improving health outcomes for one of Australia’s most marginalised communities. 

“People with intellectual disabilities are often excluded, misunderstood, face inequality, injustices and misdiagnosis. Opportunities for employment, education, health care, social engagement and other aspects of daily life that most people take for granted are routinely denied to people with intellectual disabilities.  

"With this partnership at the 'People’s Ground', we hope that inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities can become as much a part of the fabric of Melbourne and Australia as the MCG is.

"This ground has a place in people’s hearts. We're very proud that this ground has found a place in its heart for people with intellectual disabilities.”