A year to go '“ countdown for the Special Olympics in Sheffield

The countdown has begun '“ it's one year until athletes, officials and fans descend on Sheffield for the Special Olympics.

Wednesday, 3rd August 2016, 2:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd August 2016, 3:49 pm
One year to go before the opening ceremony of the Special Olymoics at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane Ground

More than 2,600 competitors with intellectual disabilities of all ages and abilities are set to compete in a range of different sports in August next year.

Athletes from across the UK will take part in the 10th Special Olympics.

A selection of competitors visited Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane stadium – which will host the opening ceremony – to mark the countdown.

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They were joined by Sheffield Lord Mayor Coun Denise Fox and Steel City football legends David Hirst and Tony Currie, who are also Special Olympics Ambassadors.

The week-long event is no stranger to Sheffield – the city hosted the games in 1993, which were a huge success.

The games are held every four years and represent a huge opportunity to showcase the abilities of children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

The games allow them to compete at a national level, as well as enabling them to make friends, travel and socialise with other competitors.

Venues across the city, including the English Institute of Sport in Attercliffe and All Saints School sports centre on Granville Road, will host 20 different events.

Special Olympics GB’s CEO Karen Wallin said: “We are thrilled to be heading back to Sheffield.

“We expect in the region of 2,600 athletes and 500 voluntary coaches – supported by a further 650 volunteers and estimated 5,000 family members – to visit Sheffield in the summer of 2017 for our biggest national event which takes place every four years.

“We are looking forward to the support of the local people and businesses of Sheffield as this very significant sporting event will require a large amount of assistance and energy.

“We are sure that the great city of Sheffield will provide a very successful and hugely memorable event for our athletes, their families, coaches and volunteers.”