Special Olympics Board member makes her mark in sports leadership

Hockey player
Sport Leadership Grants and Scholarships for Women program provides training and development opportunities for women to reach their leadership potential in sport.

26 Oct 2011


Non-executive director of Special Olympics Australia, Kim Bryan, is making her mark in leadership while pursuing a passion for sport.

Kim received a $5000 grant through the Sport Leadership Grants and Scholarships for Women program to support her to successfully complete the Australian Institute Company Directors (AICD) – Company Directors course this year.
Managed by the Australian Sports Commission in partnership with the Office for Women, the Sport Leadership Grants and Scholarships for Women program provides training and development opportunities for women like Kim to reach their leadership potential in sport.

The Company Director’s course Kim has completed provides practical skills and knowledge she is now applying to her role as a Special Olympics Australia (SOA) Board member. Kim has been a member of the SOA Board since 1987, bringing a wealth of experience to the role in marketing, human resources and communication.

Completing the course has increased Kim’s interest in the broad governance issues of SOA.

‘These skills will help me become a better Board member but the skills will also benefit other boards in the future’ she said.

SOA started more than 40 years ago in the United States, growing from a backyard camp hosted by the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver into a world-wide movement today.
Kim was honoured to meet Eunice at the 2007 Special Olympics World Games in Shanghai.

‘It was a privilege to meet this remarkable woman, who had the vision and drive to create this organisation,’ she said.

SOA has transformed the lives of people with an intellectual disability through regular sports participation, physical activity and meaningful competition, and now supports more than 3.5 million athletes in 185 countries.

The Special Olympics is all about encouraging people with and without disabilities including athletes, fans, coaches, volunteers, sponsors and partners to achieve their personal best.

Kim shares this aspiration, with a goal of achieving her personal best as a Board Director and encouraging other women to take on leadership roles. She is passionate about the culture from within the SOA and engaging more women in roles of responsibility and leadership.

She said the small number of women on sporting boards made the Australian Sports Leadership Grants and Scholarships for Women incredibly important in helping skill and build women to take on sporting leadership challenges.

More professional opportunities for Australian sportswomen

Kim is one of 16 600 women supported in their career goals by the Sport Leadership Grants and Scholarships for Women program since its launch in 2002, with $3.7 million invested in the program and successful recipients to date.

In 2011–12, a total of $400 000 was allocated across five categories: coaching; officiating; governance; management and administration; communications, media and marketing.

This funding supported 65 projects, representing 29 individual grants, 22 organisational grants and 14 individual scholarships.

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Did you know?

Australia has competed in every Summer Paralympics since the first games in 1960.

Quick numbers

141 thousand people have so far completed the ASC online coaching course.
10 current or former AIS athletes won medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
56 current or former AIS athletes won medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
35 thousand kilometres were swum by Petria Thomas while at the AIS.
26 thousand people have so far completed the ASC online officiating course.
0.5 million people visit the AIS each year.