Sports stars inspire people with learning difficulties to get active

World squash champion Nick Matthew helped people with learning disabilities try out new sports - ahead of the Special Olympics in the city next year.

The three-time world champion was joined by more than 50 people with intellectual disabilities at the launch of the Special Olympics South Yorkshire Partnership at the English Institute of Sport.

Alexander Thompson and Niall Guite, members of Sheffield Lynx basketball club and part of the gold medal winning Great Britain basketball team who were victorious at the Special Olympics in Los Angeles in 2015, were also at the event there to share their experiences and show off their gold medals.

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Six different sports - athletics, boccia, judo, cricket, football and basketball - were available for people to try.

They could also speak to clubs and coaches about how to get involved on a more regular basis.

The Special Olympics Great Britain National Games are to be held in Sheffield in August 2017 and the hope is that it will providing participation opportunities for people with learning disabilities,

Current partners involved include South Yorkshire Sport, local councils, Sheffield International Venues and Irwin Mitchell Solicitors.

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“It was a great privilege to help launch the Special Olympics South Yorkshire Partnership at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield,” said Matthew.

“To see everyone getting such enjoyment out of trying the different sports was fantastic and I’m sure it has inspired them to continue to take part on a more regular basis.”


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