Through this Request for Proposal (RFP), Special Olympics Inc. will identify a vendor to lead a multi-country evaluation to collect health status and implementation data in order to understand the relationship between Special Olympics Sport and Health programming.


Previous research has demonstrated that the strong connection between sport participation and health outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities (ID) – both physical and social-emotional. Importantly, the lack of physical activity is associated with the risk for a range of preventable health conditions including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. These risks are even greater for individuals with ID who often lack opportunities to engage in sport and regular physical activity. Evidence suggests that when individuals with ID are provided opportunities to engage in sport and physical activity, there are positive effects on weight, blood pressure, overall fitness, sense of well-being, and enhanced social relationships. What is missing however, is an understanding of variation in these outcomes based on sport-specific participation or which sports facilitate more positive outcomes. Coaching can play an important role in promoting these positive outcomes through the development of quality interpersonal relationships and sport-specific knowledge, yet less is known about how coaches can facilitate positive health-related outcomes for individuals with ID.

Sport and Coaching Outcomes

As Special Olympics moves into the next strategic plan, a big focus of our work will to further understand the integration of Sport and Health and the bidirectional relationship between sport and health, both physical and social-emotional.   Special Olympics will focus heavily on empowering and supporting local Special Olympics Programs to deliver evidence based programming and in particular, coach education, to support enhanced physical and social-emotional well-being of our athletes. This project will be implemented in select Programs across the following Special Olympics regions: Europe-Eurasia, Latin America, and Africa.

We aim therefore to collect health status data to 1) establish the physical, social and emotional well-being of our athletes and 2) understand the role of coaches and 3) sport selection and training/competition frequency as an influence on physical and social-emotional well-being.


Special Olympics seeks to engage a university partner or organization as a collaborator with SOI to manage the design, sampling, methods, collection, cleaning, analysis, and compilation