Final preparations for the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin

The Special Olympics World Games in Berlin are only a few weeks away and gymnasts Jack, Grace and Simon, and coaches Alex and Ellen from Waveney Gymnastics club in Lowestoft are making their final preparations to compete and coach alongside the very best of the world and at the highest level of international sport. At Special Olympics Suffolk, we couldn’t be more proud of them as they represent their clubs, the County and their Country. We wish them the very best of luck and can’t wait to hear how they enjoyed the experience on their return!

Special Olympics Great Britain will be sending a team of around 150 athletes, coaches and support staff to the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 which runs from June 17-23 and features more than 7,000 athletes from 190 countries. Jack, Grace and Simon make up over half of the British gymnastics squad which is a fantastic tribute to Waveney Gymnastics club who are recognized as one of the best in the country for supporting athletes with disabilities.

Also travelling to Berlin are Mike McCarthy, ActiveSport Development Officer and Head Coach of Special Olympic Suffolk’s Badminton and Boccia teams. Mike is experienced in organizing and running local and regional inclusive events in both sports and will be officiating at the badminton as a competition management volunteer. He is very much looking forward to “the opportunity to be involved with an event like the Special Olympics World Games. It looks and sounds like it will be a very special experience. This global event is the culmination of a -year cycle of weekly inclusive sports activity that is provided in clubs and groups all around the world, including what we offer right here in Suffolk”.

Edward Boggis and his Personal Assistant Lizzie Reid are looking forward to volunteering at the World Games in June. “It was a pretty stiff application process” explained Lizzie “but we got through it and are delighted to have been accepted as volunteers for the Badminton event. We have been asked to volunteer for five days of competition. Our duties will be meeting and greeting competitors and spectators and directing them to their events. We have both completed the necessary online training and are ready to go!”     The Special Olympics World Games prides itself as being fully and actively inclusive, so disabled people are encouraged to join the ranks of event volunteers. Ed has Down’s syndrome, is a member of Special Olympics Suffolk and will be supported by Lizzie and family members to make the trip and to volunteer. A keen badminton player himself, Ed is “excited about going to the games and helping out at the competition”.

We join together at Special Olympics Suffolk to wish our gymnasts, the coaches and the volunteers the very best of luck!

If you or someone you know are also making the trip to Berlin in connection with the Special Olympics World Games, please let us know!

Flying the county flag!

Suffolk badminton players flew the county flag at the Para-Badminton tournament held recently in Gillingham, Kent. Six players from Special Olympics Suffolk/ActivLives, competed in the singles and doubles events, producing some excellent performances throughout the day. The tournament, which was organised by Kent Badminton, included players from around the country with physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities. Suffolk players managed to bring home a haul of medals, including five gold, three silver and three bronze.

Well done to all involved – you continue to do Suffolk proud!

Boccia Leaders

Special Olympics Suffolk delivery partner, ActivLives, hosted a Boccia England ‘Boccia Leaders’ Course recently in Ipswich, as part of their work to help promote inclusive sport in Suffolk. The course attracted 17 delegates from a wide variety of local organisations including Papworth Trust, Suffolk New College, Special Olympics Suffolk, Special Olympics Norfolk, Suffolk Sight, Ipswich Hospital and Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy.

The course is designed to enable delegates to feel more confident in the delivery of boccia sessions in the community, and included basic playing techniques, rules, refereeing and ways of adapting the game for different participants and groups.

“It was a busy afternoon, but really useful in increasing my boccia knowledge and helping me to develop my leadership skills”, said one of the course delegates.

If you would like to find out more about how to get involved with boccia in Suffolk, please contact or call on 01473 345350.