MANCHESTER City star Jack Grealish has signed up to be a principal Ambassador for Special Olympics GB with the aim of increasing awareness of the charity’s work.
Grealish has become a principal Ambassador for the non-profit organisation which provides year-round sports training and competition for children and adults of all abilities with intellectual disabilities.
Grealish also aims to drive support and opportunities for the 1.5 million people who live with intellectual disabilities in the country today.
The winger became the most expensive English football player ever when he signed for Manchester City from Aston Villa last year for £100m.
Now though, he has committed to using his platform to shine a light on the role that Special Olympics GB plays in driving inclusion and creating possibilities for all individuals to be accepted regardless of ability or disability.
Jack Grealish said: “I’ve been thinking for some time about how I can best use the platform football has given me to create a positive change, and it had to be something really close to my heart.
“Special Olympics GB is such an important organisation, playing a huge role in tackling the lack of inclusion for hundreds of thousands of kids in the UK with intellectual disabilities.
“Nobody should be excluded from opportunities, and I can’t stand bullying or discrimination.
“In my new role with Special Olympics GB, I’m proud to stand side-by-side with all the children, young people and adults living with intellectual disabilities, and the incredible families who support them.
“I hope that everyone in Great Britain gets behind Special Olympics GB and its incredible athletes and volunteers.”
Colin Dyer, CEO of Special Olympics GB said: “Everyone at Special Olympics is delighted and excited Jack has agreed to join Special Olympics GB as a principal Ambassador.
“After a truly challenging time for many people during the pandemic, particularly those with intellectual disabilities, there is so much positive momentum in Special Olympics GB at this time, it is the perfect moment to welcome Jack to the family.
“We look forward to continuing to add to our diverse group of Ambassadors to accompany Jack on his new mission with Special Olympics GB in the near future.”
Paul Richardson, Chair of Special Olympics GB said: “The fact that Jack’s made the choice to align his brand with Special Olympics GB is testament to the importance of the work we are committed to doing and the ambitious growth plans ahead.
“Jack shares our vision for an inclusive world for all, driven by the power of sport, through which people with intellectual disabilities live active, healthy and fulfilling lives.
“We are looking forward to working together with Jack and his team to make this a reality.
“I hope that everyone who doesn’t know about Special Olympics GB or intellectual disabilities will check out our website and social media platforms to see the massive, diverse and inspiring community we are proud to represent.”
Niall Guite, Special Olympics World Games gold medallist, artist, and member of the Special Olympics GB Athlete Leadership Team, said: “I love football so much and it’s amazing to be on the same team as Jack Grealish.
“To have such an important player and public figure supporting our community gives us all so much energy and motivation.”
Special Olympics GB has growth plans for 2022 including the return to full-scale competition from June to September with the largest celebration of intellectual disability sport in Great Britain with a brand-new format, The Special Olympics GB Summer Series of Sport.
2023 is also set to be a big year for Special Olympics GB with the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Berlin next June.