Pickleball at the Special Olympics

Pickleball Americas Joins Forces to Launch Pickleball at the Special Olympics


Pickleball Americas Joins Forces to Launch Pickleball at the Special Olympics

Caracas, Venezuela, February 8, 2024 – Pickleball Americas (PFA), the leading organization dedicated to promoting the growth and enjoyment of pickleball across the Americas, is thrilled to announce its collaboration with Pickleball Venezuela Association and Special Olympics Venezuela in a pioneering initiative to introduce pickleball as a new sports discipline for children, youth, and adults with intellectual disabilities.

This groundbreaking partnership aims to leverage the transformative power of sports to enrich the lives of over 6,000 Special Olympics athletes across 12 states in Venezuela. By integrating pickleball into its array of sports offerings, Special Olympics Venezuela seeks to offer new avenues for physical development, joy, and community engagement for its athletes.

Leon Stango, President of the Venezuelan Pickleball Association and Board member of PFA, expressed his enthusiasm about the collaboration: “We are honored to partner with Special Olympics Venezuela in this noble cause. Pickleball is more than a sport; it’s a vehicle for empowerment, inclusion, and joy. This initiative aligns perfectly with our mission to make pickleball accessible to everyone, irrespective of their abilities. We are committed to providing the necessary resources and support to ensure the success of this program.”

In support of this initiative, PFA is calling upon its community and sponsors to contribute equipment and resources to kickstart the pickleball program. The initial phase aims to benefit over 50 athletes in 5 states, with plans to expand the program to serve over 100 athletes in the medium to long term.

Gary Schwartz, President and Chair of PFA, added, “The partnership with Special Olympics Venezuela underscores our belief in the power of sports to foster inclusion and build communities. Through pickleball, we have a unique opportunity to touch lives and create meaningful experiences for athletes with intellectual disabilities. We are proud to be part of this journey and look forward to seeing the positive impact of our collaboration.”

Special Olympics Venezuela has been a beacon of hope and empowerment for athletes with intellectual disabilities since 1983. The introduction of pickleball is expected to further enrich the organization’s sports offerings and contribute to the overall well-being of its athletes.

For more information on how to support this initiative or to get involved, please visit www.pickleballamericas.org.

About Pickleball Americas (PFA) Pickleball Americas is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the sport of pickleball throughout the Americas. Through partnerships, community programs, and events, PFA aims to foster the growth of pickleball for all age groups and skill levels, emphasizing inclusivity and the joy of the game.

About Special Olympics Venezuela Special Olympics Venezuela is part of a global nonprofit organization that provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in various Olympic-type sports for children, youth, and adults with intellectual disabilities. Since 1983, it has offered continuous opportunities for athletes to develop physically, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.