Our global charitable initiative in 2015/16 was to work with Special Olympics, the world's largest sports organization for children and adults, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 4.4 million people in 170 countries. Special Olympics aims to give its athletes the opportunity to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Special Olympics is a global social movement with one key message: people with intellectual disabilities can - and will - succeed when given the chance.
Over 12 months, we achieved our goal of raising US$250,000 for Special Olympics by holding a series of fund-raising events both locally and globally.
Our principal Special Olympics fundraiser was a sponsored paddling (canoeing) challenge - The Great Canadian Canoe Challenge - in September 2015. This took place at Arrowhead Camp on the shores of the Muskoka Lake of Bays, between Algonquin Park and Huntsville.
More than 100 canoeists, beginners and experts alike, paddled for around five hours each day. Paddlers committed to raising a minimum of US$250 in sponsorship, and funded their own travel to Canada.
Further fundraising activities throughout the course of 2016 included:
Londoners cycle 530 kilometers to Newcastle for Special Olympics
23 people cycled the length of England, from London to Newcastle, to raise more than £6000 for our global charitable initiative.
London takes a dip in the docks
12 people from our London office were joined by Special Olympics swimmers for a dip in the Royal Docks.
Trekking Mount Rinjani for Special Olympics
A team of 22 people spent three days scaling Mount Rinjani on the Indonesian island of Lombok, to raise funds for Special Olympics.
Minneapolis makes a splash
Our 18-person team jumped into the arctic temperatures of Lake Calhoun, raising US$7000 for Special Olympics
Australia hosts mini-Olympics
Australia hosted a series of mini-Olympic challenges across our Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney offices.
Los Angeles takes the plunge
Ten people went for a morning dip into the cool waters of Marina “Mother’s” Beach, joined by Special Olympics athletes.
Freezin’ for a Reason
People from our New York office went into the freezing waters of Long Island Sound on a cold, windy November day
Over the Edge
In November, a collection of brave people from our Dallas and Houston offices rappelled (or abseiled) down multi-story buildings in their city centres.
Our support for Special Olympics built on our earlier work with the Jubilee Sailing Trust to raise awareness and change perceptions of disability by sponsoring and taking part in the Norton Rose Fulbright Sail the World Challenge with a mixed crew of able-bodied and disabled people.