Opticians helps Sheffield basketball player fulfil Olympic dream

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A ‘spec-tacular’ Sheffield basketball player is being supported by a city opticians as he prepares to compete in the Special Olympics.

Niall Guite, from Millhouses, has been selected to be part of the GB squad travelling to the Summer Games in Los Angeles next month.

He will play in the GB basketball team at the event, where he will be joined by 7,00 other athletes with learning difficulties from around the world.

The 20-year-old, who plays for Sheffield Lynx Basketball Club, is affected by global developmental delay and communication difficulties.

Bird Opticians, where Niall has been a customer since he was a child, is supporting the talented sportsman.

The firm organised for the Norton College student to receive a pair of glasses with special shatterproof lenses, donated by Hoya Lens UK Ltd, to wear while playing sport.

Staff at the opticians, on Surrey Street in Sheffield city centre, usually make minor adjustments and repairs to customers’ frames free of charge but are instead asking for donations to help towards Niall’s travel costs.

Niall’s mum Michelle said: “Niall has been visiting Bird Opticians since he was about eight.

“Because of his learning difficulties he can be affected by anxiety, especially with new situations and people, so we wanted to find an optician where he would get a personal service and feel valued.

“That’s exactly what’s happened - he knows the staff, they know him and they always make him feel comfortable and help support him.

“He loves the special glasses they’ve made him as they have blue frames which match his GB outfit and the fundraising they are doing on top of that is just lovely.”