Coaching Association of Canada

Matthew Williams

Special Olympics Athlete
Sargent Shriver Global Messenger

Topic: Global Cultural Disruption: How Special Olympics are Driving Social Change

Special Olympics has used disruption to create and enhance a global movement that has provided quality sport programs and opportunities to compete for over 5 million athletes with intellectual disabilities from 170 countries around the world. In this session, you will see and hear how Special Olympics is driving global social change, both on and off the field of play. If you want to be educated, energized and inspired, this is the session to attend!

Matthew Williams is a firm believer in the power of sport to transform lives. He has felt it firsthand. Prior to finding Special Olympics, Williams struggled to fit in and keep up with his peers. When he joined Special Olympics in Grade 8, it had a profound impact on his life, helping him make friends, providing him with self-confidence, and giving him an opportunity to participate in sports.

Williams has achieved a great deal in his decade with Special Olympics. He competed in the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in basketball, where the first-ever Canadian basketball team to participate in a World Games finished fourth. He has also participated in track and field, swimming, floor hockey, and curling.

At just 23 years old, he has become a Special Olympics International Sargent Shriver Global Messenger and a member of the Special Olympics International Board of Directors, where he shares athlete perspectives with leaders of this global movement. His goal is to spread the message and vision of Special Olympics far and wide.