Make talent thrive at Special Olympics

Who challenges whom?

At Byner, we help people grow. And we love to give back to society. That is why we are proud to be a silver sponsor of Special Olympics Netherlands, which is part of a global initiative empowering 4 million athletes in 190 countries with national and international multi-sports events.

Changing lives, changing behavior

Their mission: changing lives by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion among people with and without intellectual disabilities. As they state beautifully on their website: Special Olympics unleashes the power of the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world.

In this interview, Natascha Bruers, Sports Director at Special Olympics Netherlands and Frank Gielen, Co-Founder of Byner talk about our special partnership.

“For us, the partnership with Talent Peaks came at just the right time. We were still working in Excel, the old fashioned way, and we were actually looking into the options of a platform that would make life easier for us. The Talent Peaks team really understood what we wanted from the platform and helped us to create it. Instead of working with all kinds of Excel documents we now have one platform in which we can find everything. It’s super! Sales Cloud has improved our work processes and productivity.”
Ragna Schapendonk
Director Special Olympics Netherlands

Compete and have fun with each other

Natascha: “As a Sports Director I am responsible for planning sports events and technical affairs. In all kinds of events during the year, we stimulate people with an intellectual disability to be active, show courage, compete and have fun with each other. Thanks to our sports activities, they have the chance to grow their talent, meet people all over the world and share their experiences with their loved ones. No matter whether they are experts or beginners, everyone is welcome to join and have fun.”

It is a wonderful job for which I’m grateful every day. For me, it is enormously rewarding to see how our athletes grow as a person once they join us at Special Olympics Netherlands. At first, some of them may be a bit shy, insecure and timid. And parents and family may be a bit worried or protective. With our team, we stimulate our athletes, challenge them to stretch a bit further. Together, we show them what they are capable of and support them to discover how to make things happen by their own hand.

Proud and self confident

“The result is heartwarming”, she continues. “To see their drive and ambition, see how they shine and the joy they have together. Being part of our team makes them feel proud. It grows their self awareness and confidence and this also has a positive effect on their family and loved ones. I can not express how rewarding it is to be part of their journey and help these special talents grow.”

It all started with beer

Frank: “In 2018, we sponsored Gilles Dupont, a talented basketball player with Asperger syndrome who plays in the Belgian Unified Basketball team with his 2 brothers. Gilles’ dream was to take part in the Special Olympics World Games 2019 in Abu Dhabi, and we decided to launch a fun sponsoring campaign funded by Tripel Peaks, a beer that was exclusively brewed for us. With success, Gilles and his team won a gold medal in the World Games in Abu Dhabi.”

Implementing a platform for flawless marketing and event promotion

He continues: “We saw the impact that sports, success and playing in a team had on these young people, and we decided to make a sustainable contribution to this initiative. So we reached out to Special Olympics Netherlands to see how we could support them. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that – for the complete registration and event administration – they still worked with Excel sheets. Right up our alley, so we contacted the Salesforce foundation, and implemented Sales Cloud from our Social Responsibility purpose. Result: Special Olympics Netherlands now has a platform that supports them in the flawless marketing and promotion of (inter)national sport events for people with an intellectual disability.”

“We stimulate and challenge our athletes and show them what they are capable of. The result is heartwarming.”
Natascha Bruers
Sports Director at Special Olympics Netherlands

Meet and greet with the Ski/Snowboard Team

To celebrate our sponsorship, we had the chance to meet the ski and snowboarders of Special Olympics Team NL in person. A wonderful experience which made us realize once again what an important role sport plays in the lives of these talents. Each and everyone is exceptional in their own way and driven to the bone to put on a good performance during the World Winter Games 2025 in Turin. In the sports complex of Skiclub the Wolfskamer in Huizen, Team Talent Peaks grasped the opportunity to take a training or measure forces with the Special Olympics champs. A day to remember.

Watch the after movie here.

World Games in Berlin

The past few years have been extra challenging for the athletes. Due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine the World Games and many other events were put on hold. But next year, in June 2023, 56 Dutch athletes will be traveling to Berlin to take part in the Special Olympics World Games 2023 in Berlin.

Natascha: “We are really looking forward to the World Games. Special Olympics
Team NL 2023 contains athletes from all over the country and of all ages. The youngest is Jolein, a 17 year old cyclist, whereas the oldest is Arie, the hockey goalkeeper, who will be 60 in Berlin. Besides hockey and cycling, the athletes will be competing in 10 other sports such as golf, bowling and judo.

Always looking for volunteers

You can imagine that organizing sports events all year round combined with international trips, takes a lot of work to do. That is why Special Olympics Netherlands works with volunteers to help them make things happen. Are you interested in helping the team make dreams come true? Email them via and let them know how you think you can help them!

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