Sheffield ready to host 'biggest disability sports event' with Special Olympics National Games

Special Olympics athletes prepare for the National Games in Sheffield.
Special Olympics athletes prepare for the National Games in Sheffield.
0
Have your say

Sheffield has been urged to come out and support more than 2,000 athletes taking part in the Special Olympics National Games next week.

The competition kicks off on Monday, with competitions in 20 sports across the city.

The events are all free to attend, and the games organisers hope to see plenty of Sheffield residents there supporting the athletes.

Special Olympics GB CEO Karen Wallin said it would be the 'biggest disability sports event in the country' this year.

"These games are a chance to make a huge difference to the lives of many inspiring athletes with learning disabilities and their families," she said.

"Our Special Olympics GB athletes will remember this National Games experience forever.

"The week-long Games are no stranger to Sheffield – the city hosted the games in 1993, which were a great success.

"The Games represent a highly-significant opportunity to showcase the abilities of children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

"This showpiece event allows them to compete at a national level, as well as enabling them to make friends, build confidence, travel and socialise with other competitors."

Many Sheffield people are already involved in the games, with 1,000 volunteers and officials signed up.

Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp with some of the athletes.

Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp with some of the athletes.

There will be a number of local athletes, from 63-year-old Sheffield strongman Arvon Lee to the Yorkshire and the Humber equestrian team.

The city will also host about 10,000 family members all keen to see their athletes perform.

Most will be at the opening ceremony at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane stadium on Tuesday. Broadcaster Suzi Perry is one of three hosts alongside Chris Kamara and Jim Carter.

She said: "I’ve seen lots over the years about the Special Olympics and have always wanted to be a part of it, so I'm thrilled to be jointly hosting the opening ceremony alongside Jim and Kammy.

Suzi Perry is one of three hosts for the opening ceremony.

Suzi Perry is one of three hosts for the opening ceremony.

"It does incredible work inspiring and motivating people from around the country to follow their dreams of competing at a national level.

"It demonstrates how powerful sport can be not only for those taking part, but their families and friends too and I can’t wait to meet some of the 2,600 competitors and hear their incredible stories.

"Yorkshire is a real powerhouse of sport so there is no better place to host four days of sporting excellence than in Sheffield. I’d encourage everyone reading this to get their tickets booked and join us for what will be a brilliant night of celebration and entertainment."

WWE star Charlotte works with one of the athletes.

WWE star Charlotte works with one of the athletes.