Healthy Athletes Program (HAP)

Healthy Athletes Program


Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Program aims to improve every athlete’s health and fitness in order to enhance their ability to train and compete and ultimately to improve the athlete’s well being in daily life. Furthermore,

Healthy Athletes provides training and education for health care professionals and future health care experts.

During the 2014 Special Olympics European Summer Games all participating athletes will have access to free of charge Healthy Athletes services provided by health care professionals volunteering in seven clinical disciplines.

Vision Care

Opening Eyes® aims to improve the quality of life for individuals diagnosed with intellectual disabilities by optimizing their vision, eye health and visual skills through quality eye care. 


Intra oral screenings to increase awareness of the athletes’ oral health. Done by oral health professionals including a complete visual screening on caries, periodontal problems, traumatology and pain problems. The athletes receive referral for follow-up care. Adapted oral health education is provided including tips and tricks to improve the overall oral hygiene.


Ear and hearing screening for the athletes and notification if follow-up is needed. This program also provides free hearing aids (hearing aid voucher system) and preventative custom made swim plugs, where possible. 


Assessment of the flexibility and functional strength of Special Olympics athletes’ muscles as well as overall balance. The program also provides educational materials for Special Olympics athletes, families and coaches about the importance of flexibility, functional strength and balance in sports and daily life.

Health Promotion

Focuses on educating athletes about healthy lifestyles and making healthy choices. It offers guidelines on nutrition and exercise, as well as bone health, smoking prevention and sun safety, using interactive educational activities and motivational information to encourage behaviour change.


Fit Feet evaluates and screens foot and ankle deformations and evaluate the gait of athletes. They will be provided with education in proper footwear, orthotics or insoles and care of the feet and toes.


Unique health program conducted by Special Olympics Belgium. With osteopathy, severe and untreated injuries are easily detected. Healthy Body will demonstrate the program so that it might lead to a recognition and be included in the International Healthy Athletes Program.


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