Special Olympics Australia and Facilities First & Serco


Kids playing inside an indoor gym

They say, “It takes a village to raise a child,” a great saying that we can apply to anything that requires a level of collective unity to achieve a common goal. We see it in so many arenas of our working and daily lives; however, on occasion we experience it through a much sharper lens.

In September 2021, the Special Olympics Australia organisation held its annual sports carnival. For many of us, we have been involved at some level with club or school sports and, honestly, organising an entire sports day carnival can be like herding cats! With so many moving parts, the strategic and logistical considerations can be overwhelming.

Registrations, finances, transport, volunteers, uniforms, equipment, scheduling and – and, and, it really does take a village to pull it off. Add in a pandemic hanging like a dark menacing cloud, and you need exceptional people. Some would ask why do it? But it only takes five minutes of experiencing the beaming faces of the participants, the high octane enjoyment and the infectious warmth of instant new BFFs to quickly understand the why.

For more than 50 years, the Special Olympics Australia organisation has been providing opportunities for those with intellectual disabilities and autism to participate in sports. It is an amazing support network for participants and their families and a much anticipated day on the sporting calendar for all those taking part. For Facilities First and Serco, the owners of Facilities First, the values of the organisation closely align with our own. Care, making a difference, purpose, diversity, relationships and strength are all built into our DNA, and supporting community organisations that advocate these values is where we want to be.

Young lady meets an olympian

The organisation


Special Olympics Australia is part of a global organisation. From its humble beginnings in 1976 in Australia, it now supports over 7000 participants across 45 clubs nationwide.

In addition, the organisation runs in-school programs and year round multi-sports programs, providing access to competition pathways including the World Games hosted on a four year cycle in summer and winter sports.

Its ambassadors include high profile Australian journalist Peter Overton, actress Paula Duncan, ex rugby league player Craig Wing, singer songwriter Amber Lawrence and other household Australian names.

A team of dedicated volunteers manages this organisation, which has helped thousands of children and adults reach their personal best through sport. The organisation plays an invaluable role in supporting families along with community members with intellectual disability or autism.

A team smiling at the camera

Our role


Like any sport, the fun is in the doing, and doing it with friends old and new, whilst sharing the camaraderie that sports provide. Facilities First and Serco were eager to help to ensure the participants got the best possible experience of fun and the opportunity to make new friends. Financial support was necessary and the business was able to make a significant financial contribution; however, more importantly it was the Facilities First Serco team members including Nigel Abrahams, Andrew Peng, Paul Solomon, Julie Lehman and Adrian Fimiani
who made the biggest impact.

These team members and close to 30 staff volunteered their time to assist on the day. Volunteers are the heartbeat of these events and our team stood by the company’s values, volunteering their time with passion and enthusiasm. It is this sense of community and going the extra distance that makes such a difference to the lives of so many people and is a value that we hold close at Facilities First.

facilities-first-supports-special-olympics

These team members and close to 30 staff volunteered their time to assist on the day. Volunteers are the heartbeat of these events and our team stood by the company’s values, volunteering their time with passion and enthusiasm. It is this sense of community and going the extra distance that makes such a difference to the lives of so many people and is a value that we hold close at Facilities First.

“It is one thing to talk about company values, it is another to live them. I was very keen for our support of the Special Olympics carnival in Adelaide to have real purpose for the participants and their families.

To experience the efforts of our team and their willingness to help out on the day was truly heart-warming,”  says Dave Reynolds, General Manager Commercial Cleaning and Education, Facilities First.

Serco and Facilities First have committed to the Special Olympics again for 2022. Being able to support the aims of Special Olympics Australia to build confidence, skills, motivation and – importantly – social engagement is what the carnivals are all about and resonate throughout our organisation.

We send a sincere thanks to the Special Olympics Australia organisation for their continued work and enabling us to contribute to what was a very special day for all.

We are a proven and experienced team, dedicated to the work we do. Our teams are committed to bringing the same level of care they have for each other to every job they undertake. When your facilities expect only the very best care and expertise, contact us today and experience the difference we make.

Contact Facilities First