Communications Officer (Voluntary role)

Special Olympics Suffolk (SOS) is seeking to recruit a volunteer to take over the role of SOS Communications Officer. You will be part of a small group of officers who will support you to get set up and on an ongoing basis 

Ideally this post will be filled by someone with a working knowledge of websites and social media. The role will be central to communications and marketing activities to athletes, parents/carers, coaches, volunteers, supporters and the wider public and, through discussion, can be tailored to fit the skills and capacity of the applicant.

The amount of time required would be approximately 8 hours per month

If you have an interest in this voluntary opportunity and/or would like to know more we would be very pleased to hear from you. 

Please contact: Alex Row 07887420423

Further information about SOS can be found by visiting

Inclusive Badminton Tournament returns to Activlives

ActivLives held their first Inclusive Badminton Tournament since the pandemic, recently in Ipswich. The tournament was a great success with 18 players competing in the Singles competition, with a series of ‘Head Starts’ making things really competitive in all of the divisions. All of the players then combined to form two teams to contest the Team Relay – a mixture of singles and doubles games with the first team to reach 54 points the winner!

“It felt like all of the competitors were really glad to be back, it has been nearly two years since any of our players have had an opportunity to compete”, said Mike McCarthy, ActivSport Development Officer. “The standard of play, and more importantly, the determination of the players to enjoy the opportunity to compete, was a real joy to watch”.

Julie Stokes, ActivLives CEO said, “The quality of the rallies was exceptional and the scoring was really close, there was a real buzz of excitement throughout the day”.

Many thanks to all of the great volunteers who made it happen, and to all of the partner organisations who support ActivLives in promoting Inclusive Badminton in the Ipswich area including, Special Olympics Suffolk, Suffolk Community Foundation, Active Suffolk, Suffolk County Council and our hosts, Ipswich Borough Council.

If you would like to know more about Inclusive Sport with ActivLives, please contact or call on 01473 345350. 

Looking forward to Suffolk’s Inclusive Badminton Tournament

The ActivLives Inclusive Badminton Tournament is being held in Ipswich on the 20th November. 

This tournament is targeted at our own local players who play regularly with ActivLives – many of the competitors also compete in Special Olympics competitions.

This will be a Singles tournament consisting of round-robin group games. All of the competitors will be ‘divisioned’ based upon their playing abilities, with a system of ‘head starts’ also being used to try to ensure that there are plenty of close games. It is planned to round the event off with a Team Relay, making use of a novel format used at a recent Youth Olympics. Prior entry for the competitors will be required.

All of the umpires and scorers for this event will be volunteers – thank you in advance to all of them!  

The event will be delivered by ActivLives, with the support of Special Olympics Suffolk.    

Covid-19 measures (Hands-Face-Space-Fresh Air), will be in place at this event.

Click here for more information or contact Mike McCarthy, ActivSport Development Officer 07531 236442

Celebrating National Boccia Day 2021 in Suffolk

There was a great atmosphere at Whitton Sports Centre in Ipswich earlier this week, as 36 participants, from across Suffolk, came together to take part in the ActivLives Boccia Festival, in celebration of National Boccia Day 2021. 

The event was supported by players from a variety of local disability organisations including Avenues East Ipswich and Stowmarket, Wots Up, Papworth Trust and Mid-Suffolk Axis.

The day also had star quality as Evie Edwards, recently returned from representing Paralympics GB in Tokyo, was on hand throughout the event to meet players and to present the awards.

A big ‘thank you’ must go to all of the great ActivLives volunteers who gave their time, skills and energy to make it all happen. Thank you also to Active Suffolk, SCC and IBC, for their support with this event.

If you would like to know more about Inclusive Boccia with ActivLives and Special Olympics Suffolk, call 01473 345350 or email

Suffolk athletes support Disability Badminton Festival in Cambridge

A group of ActivLives/Special Olympics Suffolk Badminton players went over to Cambridge recently, to support the Disability Festival as part of the Badminton England ‘Big Hit’ initiative. Our group of 10 players, were brilliantly supported by family members and friends. The ‘Big Hit’ initiative is part of the Badminton England follow up to the successful Paralympics Badminton in Tokyo. ActivLives held a ‘Bring a Guest’ session, earlier in the same week, which was also part of the ‘Big Hit’. A big thank you to all who supported these events. If you would like to know more about Inclusive Badminton in Ipswich for players with a learning disability, please contact Mike at ActivLives on 07531 236442.

Special Olympics skiing competition

Connor has competed in his first Special Olympics skiing competition on 12 th September which was run by the South East. The day was well attended by skiers.

Connor did very well and won a Gold medal in the slalom and also a Gold medal in the Gs. Both were in the Advanced Division one category.

He was also the fasted skier on the day in both competitions.

The next competition will be on the 2nd October in the West Midlands.

Badminton England initiative; The ‘Big Hit’

ActivLives and Special Olympics Suffolk are actively supporting the current Badminton England initiative, the ‘Big Hit’.

To celebrate the success of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Badminton England, in partnership with local clubs and coaches, are hosting a series of disability Para-Badminton Festivals.

The festivals provide an opportunity for all disabled people to get involved and try a new sport? Or if you have experienced badminton previously, it’s time to get back on court!

Delivered by experienced Disability Badminton Coaches, the Para Badminton Festivals can be enjoyed by all and promise to be lots of fun, involving skill-based activities and on-court games.

Disability Badminton | Badminton England

Mike McCarthy

ActivSport Manager

07531 236442

Hetty Bartlett goes for Paralympic glory

Hetty Bartlett

Fulfilling a dream she’s had since taking up athletics many years ago, Suffolk athlete Hetty Bartlett has been honoured with selection for the delayed 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games which gets underway today. Making her debut for ParalympicsGB in the T38 Long Jump on 31st August will represent just reward for many hard years training for sprints and long jump. As a member of Orwell Panthers Athletics Club and Special Olympics Suffolk, she has won many national events over the years. In 2019 she won Gold in the 200m at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. Now a member of the ParalympicsGB athletics squad the door has opened for her to compete with the best in the world in the T38 classification. All at Orwell Panthers Athletics Club and Special Olympics Suffolk wish her every success at the Games and for her future in Paralympic competition