Adelaide to host Special Olympics Australia 11th National Games

27 October 2016

Adelaide, South Australia – Adelaide has been named the next host city for Special Olympics Australia’s prestigious 11th National Games, from Monday 16 to Friday 20 April 2018.

More than 1,000 athletes with an intellectual disability will come together and compete in 12 Olympic-style and demonstration sports in and around Adelaide, cheered on by fans, coaches and more than 900 volunteers.

Supported by the South Australian Tourism Commission through Events South Australia, the Games will feature athletics, basketball, bocce, golf, equestrian, football, gymnastics, swimming, sailing, tennis and table tennis as a demonstration sport.

Assistant Minister to the Premier, Katrine Hildyard, said Adelaide would offer a warm welcome to athletes and supporters: “South Australia has a proud track record of successfully hosting large sporting events and we look forward to watching competition in world-class venues at the Special Olympics Australia National Games. I am really looking forward to meeting up with fellow South Australians to cheer on these fantastic athletes.”

“Athletes and their supporters are also invited to explore our city’s many attractions, from lively eateries to beautiful beaches. A short drive away visitors will find regions including the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and Barossa, which are perfect for a day trip or longer stay.”

Special Olympics Australia Chief Executive Corene Strauss encouraged the Australian public to get involved and support the National Games and its athletes.

“Almost 600,000 Australians have an intellectual disability, representing one of the largest disability populations in the country. Every two hours, another child is diagnosed in Australia,” said Ms Strauss.
“Australia is a sporting nation in which everyone has the right to participate, to whatever capacity they choose or are capable of. This is what makes the National Games so unique, and an experience all can enjoy.”

“Week-in and week-out, in communities across Australia, thousands of dedicated volunteers, coaches and carers are supporting athletes with an intellectual disability to achieve their personal best through sport.”

The National Games is the culmination of a four-year training and competition cycle supporting athletes across multiple sports and locations. Athletes qualify based on their performance at state-level competitions, with the offer to represent their home state or territory at the flagship event.

In celebration of the joy and enthusiasm of Special Olympics, artist and Special Olympics athlete Digby Webster and Taste Creative were commissioned to design the new Games logo, which features oil and pastel ink artwork interpretations of iconic Australian locations such as the Barossa Valley, Flinders Ranges and Brighton Beach.

The National Games is a qualifying event for the Australian team competing at the Special Olympics World Summer Games, scheduled for 2019.

Special Olympics Australia creates sports training, coaching, competition and mentoring opportunities, so that people with an intellectual disability can reach their personal best, in sport and in life. For further information, including sponsorship, fundraising or volunteering opportunities, visit:

About Special Olympics Australia National Games
Special Olympics Australia today supports more than 3000 athletes with an intellectual disability in 59 accredited programs nationwide, catering for people of all ages, all abilities and at all levels of competition. The organisation creates sports training, coaching, competition and mentoring opportunities, so that people with an intellectual disability can reach their personal best, in sport and in life. The inaugural Special Olympics Australia National Games took place in 1986, with athletes competing in six sports in Launceston, Tasmania. Now held in Australia every four years, this will be the second time Adelaide has hosted the National Games. Previous years are:

  • 1986 Launceston, Tasmania
  • 1988 Sydney, NSW
  • 1990 Melbourne, VIC
  • 1992 Brisbane, Queensland
  • 1994 Perth, WA
  • 1998 Hobart, Tasmania
  • 2002 Sydney, NSW
  • 2006 Gold Coast, Queensland
  • 2010 Adelaide, SA
  • 2014 Melbourne, VIC
About Events South Australia
Events South Australia is the events arm of the South Australian Tourism Commission, which was established by the South Australian Government to promote the state as a holiday destination. Its charter is to promote South Australia as a tourism destination and attract visitors to the state through securing, managing, developing and sponsoring major events and festivals, along with taking a leadership role in the events industry. Based in Adelaide, the vibrant capital of South Australia, the South Australian Tourism Commission works closely with representatives in the state’s 11 regions to promote tourism assets. Tourism directly employs 35,700 South Australians and is worth $5.9 billion to the state’s economy.

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