The race is on to the Special Olympics GB National Games 2017 in Sheffield, as athletes and officials toured the city’s sporting venues.
Special Olympics athletes and officials visited venues such as Bramall Lane, the English Institute of Sport and the All Saints Sports Centre to ensure everything is in fighting shape for next year’s games.
The Special Olympics is a major sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. Some 2,600 Specal Olympians of all ages and abilities will compete in a range of 19 sports in August next year.
There are 150 Special Olympics clubs across Britain and they train all year round.
Karen Wallin, CEO of Special Olympics GB, said: “The whole idea is that we use sport as a tool to improve the self-esteem, health and inclusion of those with intellectual disabilities.”
Athletes Niall Guite, aged 21, and Alex Thompson, 24,also inspected the sporting venues.
The two clinched gold for GB’s basketball team last year in the World Special Olympics, held in Los Angeles.
Niall said: “My favourite thing about the Special Olympics is meeting new people.”
Alex added: “I like the stadiums, crowds and the fans.”
The Special Olympics GB National Games take place from August 7-12 next year, and will kick off with an opening ceremony at Bramall Lane. Volunteers from all walks of life are still needed to help. Apply at www.specialolympicsgb.org.uk/ volunteer