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The Kennedy Who Changed the World

The Kennedy Who Changed the World

, 11th , 2019

Tuesday 11.15pm – 12.15am, BBC2

Many people across the world instantly recognise the ‘Kennedy’ surname and associate it with John K Kennedy, yet it was his sister, Eunice, who has arguably had the biggest impact on people all around the world. This new BBC documentary tells her story and reveals how Eunice selflessly campaigned and dedicated her life to changing the lives of millions of people with intellectual disabilities through the power of sport.

The story starts in the 1950’s and 60’s where Eunice witnesses first hand the injustice people with intellectual disabilities face, she hates the injustice and vows to do something about it. The issue was very close to home to Eunice – her sister Rosemary had an intellectual disability. The two sisters played all sorts of sports together, including football, skiing and swimming, yet they found the opportunities for Rosemary to take part in formal sports were extremely limited.

With her own excellence in sports, Eunice found it a key way to ensure people of all abilities could come together, through her vision, drive and dedication, the Special Olympics were born, paving the way for people from all backgrounds to compete, change their lives and achieve sporting glory. Some fifty years on, the games help 5.2 million athletes in 174 countries.

The documentary features input and insight from members of the Kennedy family, President Bill Clinton and Special Olympics Global Ambassador Nicole Scherzinger, as well as meeting some of the athletes from the USA, UK, Ireland and Tanzania that Eunice’s legacy have helped. The programme is well-timed and presents the story of how athletes find themselves able to participate in the World Games to be held in Abu Dhabi, commencing 14th March.

The documentary is brilliantly presented by Clare Balding, herself a very altruistic and charitable person, she has been a presenter of Sport Relief since its inception in 2002, she is the patron of the British Thyroid Foundation, Riding for the Disabled, Diversity Role Models, James Tomlinson Appeal, British Paralympic Association and Helen Rollason Cancer Care. Her calming and compassionate voice compliment the fantastic story that everyone needs to hear. The documentary truly shows the best in not just Eunice Kennedy, but humanity.

 

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