Special Olympics GB Puts All Activities On Hold For Foreseeable Future

Following discussions between Paul Richardson, Chairman of Special Olympics GB Board of Trustees and Michelle Carney, CEO of Special Olympics GB, given the quickly changing environment and government response to Covid-19, it has been decided that NO Special Olympics activity is to take place in any club until further notice as a precautionary measure.

This is in line with the directives received from Mary Davis, CEO, Special Olympics International.

This applies to all club activity, competitions, events, training sessions, group activities or gatherings set to be hosted or attended by your regions and clubs.   This also applies to any Regional meetings and AGMs which are due to take place. We ask that moving forward, if a meeting is deemed to be urgent, this must take place via telephone or video conferencing and Sam Wothers from National Office is on hand to help coordinate as we have the facilities to make this happen.

Please note, this directive supersedes all previous emails.  

We understand this is a worrying time for everyone with the situation changing daily but as the number of cases across GB continues to increase, so too does the risk of contracting Covid-19.  Given the vulnerability of our athletes, we must take all necessary precautions to ensure we do not expose them and our volunteers to additional risk.

We must also ensure the same applies to our personnel, so it has been decided that all staff in National Office work from home until further notice.   All staff will continue to be contactable via email and mobile and are available if you have any questions or need further information.   Contact details of everyone can be found on our website if need be:   https://www.specialolympicsgb.org.uk/who-we-are/staff

 We know this will be disappointing news for many – especially our amazing athletes.   However, we are sure you can appreciate that, as an organisation, the health and welfare of our athletes is our number one priority and we must do everything we possibly can to minimise the impact on them and our volunteers of contracting the virus.

 Should you become aware of an athlete or volunteer testing positive for CoVid-19 please contact myself by email using the details below as soon as possible.     

We will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and will be in touch as developments unfold.

In the meantime, if you need anything further, please let us know.   We sincerely hope that you, your family, friends and colleagues are safe and healthy and continue to be so.

Many thanks for your understanding.

All the best 

Paul Lockyer, Chief Operating Officer 

Special Olympics GB 

paul.lockyer@sogb.org.uk 

M: 07611 646508 

Suffolk Special Olympics badminton players mix it in London SW19!

The Special Olympics Suffolk Badminton squad had a great day recently at the Special Olympics Regional Tournament which was held in Wimbledon.

Just up the road from the All England Tennis Club, this singles badminton tournament was held for the very first time in the famous SW19 area of South London. 

Special Olympics Suffolk had nine players competing for the medals across the various divisions. They were joined by competitors from a variety of Special Olympics groups including Wimbledon, Southampton, Exeter and the Isle of Wight.

“This tournament is a very welcome addition to the Special Olympics calendar”, said Mike McCarthy, from Special Olympics Suffolk and ActivLives, and Coach to the Suffolk group. “It has been brilliant for our players to play at such a prestigious venue, against opponents, many of whom, they hadn’t competed against before”.  

The Suffolk team did the county proud by winning a number of medals including two Golds won by Donna Wyatt and Harry Creasey, who both topped their respective divisions. 

The team completed a great day by taking part in the Team Relay event, a competition that puts all of the competitors into mixed teams across all of the abilities and groups represented on the day. 

If you would like to get involved with Special Olympics Badminton in Suffolk (the group is based in Ipswich), please contact Mike McCarthy at mike@activlives.org.uk or call on 01473 345350.

ActivLives celebrate National Boccia Day in style!

An inclusive sports event was hosted recently by local organisation ActivLives. The event, a Boccia Festival, was held in Ipswich and opened by the Mayor of Ipswich, Cllr. Parry. It was attended by over 50 participants and was supported by Suffolk’s ‘Most Active County’initiative, Special Olympics Suffolk and Ipswich Borough Council.

“For anyone who hasn’t come across Boccia before”, said Mike McCarthy, from ActivLives, “it is a sport that is played whilst seated. A little like the games of Petanque and Boules, it provides a great test of control, co-ordination and tactics and is one of the most inclusive sports there is – it can be played by anyone and everyone, irrespective of their age, fitness or ability”.

At the elite level, Boccia is a Paralympic sport, but the ActivLives sessions, which are held locally in the community, can be attended by anyone, whether or not they have a disability.

“It was National Boccia Day (on the 27th September), so we were really keen to host an event that gave both new and existing players a chance to meet up and celebrate this brilliant sport”.

The Boccia Festival included an introduction to some of the skills, tactics and rules involved with the sport as well as an opportunity for participants to take part in a team competition.

Boccia is one of many sports and physical activities on the weekly Everyday Activ programme run by ActivLives in Ipswich and the surrounding area.

If you would like to find out more about the Everyday Activ programme and how to get involved, please contact ActivLives on 01473 345350 or have a look at the website at www.activlives.org.uk

Special Olympics Badminton Tournament in Ipswich, ‘breaks new ground’.

The third Special Olympics Eastern Region Badminton Tournament was held recently in Ipswich and has been hailed as terrific success by players and coaches alike. The tournament, which was organised by Special Olympics Suffolk with the support of ActivLives and the Suffolk County Council ‘Most Active County’ initiative, involved 41 competitors who, in addition to a very strong Suffolk contingent, came from as far afield as the south coast, midlands and even the west of Scotland!

The standard of play was excellent throughout the day with some extremely close matches deciding the final medal placings.

Special Olympics, which is sport for athletes with an intellectual disability, is developing steadily in Suffolk with four sports currently being focussed upon, these being badminton, athletics, gymnastics and boccia.

“This tournament provides a great opportunity for our Suffolk badminton players to compete with and against Special Olympics players from across the country, said Mike McCarthy from ActivLives and Special Olympics Suffolk.

We really feel as though we have broken new ground this year with this being our first time at Ipswich Borough Council’s Gainsborough Sports Centre, a record number of entries and the brand new ‘Team Relay’ format, that we introduced and which was a terrific success with the competitors.

We have had such positive feedback from the players and coaches as a result of the event. Everyone has commented upon the great team of volunteers who made this event happen. Huge thanks must go to them as events like these simply wouldn’t take place if it wasn’t for the volunteers who organise and deliver them”, added Mike.

Murton Mann, Chairman of Special Olympics GB, commented having visited the tournament, “This is a great event for Special Olympics Suffolk to be running – great for Suffolk and obviously great for the athletes, their families and everybody involved. It was absolutely brilliant to see everybody having such a terrific day, this competition is now very much part of the national Special Olympics calendar”.

If you would like to find out more about Special Olympics Suffolk, please contact Terry McEntee on 07775557784 or email terrymcentee474@gmail.com or visit the website atwww.specialolympicssuffolk.org

Suffolk amongst the medals in Special Olympics badminton

Special Olympics Suffolk badminton players enjoyed a very successful trip to the West Midlands recently when they competed in the Special Olympics Regional Tournament held in Cannock, Staffordshire.

Special Olympics Suffolk badminton players enjoyed a very successful trip to the West Midlands recently when they competed in the Special Olympics Regional Tournament held in Cannock, Staffordshire.
The Suffolk team, consisting of 12 local players, played with, and competed against, players from 10 other Special Olympics clubs from across the country from as far afield as Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield, Exeter, Wigan, Worcester and Shropshire. The Suffolk medal tally included 4 Gold, 3 Silver and 2 Bronze.

“Our team performed brilliantly”, said Mike McCarthy, Coach with Special Olympics Suffolk and ActivLives. “We are very proud of our players who all played up to, and in many cases beyond, their rankings. In addition to being very competitive, our players show a great attitude of support for each other and sportsmanship towards their opponents. They really are a privilege to work with”.

Special Olympics is sport for athletes with learning disabilities, and is relatively new to Suffolk, having only been established in our county as recently as 2014. In addition to badminton, Special Olympics Suffolk also competes in athletics and gymnastics and is planning to add boccia and football to the list before the end of this year.

If you would like to find out more about Special Olympics opportunities in Suffolk, information can be found on the website at www.specialolympicssuffolk.org, by emailing mike@activlives.org.uk or by telephoning on 01473 345350

Suffolk Special Olympics badminton players amongst the medals in Bournemouth

Special Olympics badminton players from Suffolk were amongst the medals once again at the Southern Regional Tournament, which was held recently in Bournemouth.

Seven players from our county made the trip down to the south coast with five of them managing to come away with medals (two gold, one silver and two bronze), from the singles competitions.  

Special Olympics, which is sport for athletes with an intellectual disability, is relatively new to our county with the Suffolk branch having only been established as recently as 2014. 

“This tournament provided a great opportunity for our players to compete against Special Olympics players from clubs across the country ranging from Birmingham to Cornwall,” said Mike McCarthy from ActivLives and Special Olympics Suffolk.

“The performance levels of our local Special Olympics players is rising all of the time, but every bit as important is the brilliant attitude that they all bring to events like this one”, added Mike.  

This tournament was one of several organised as part of the Special Olympics calendar of events held across the country.  

If you would like to find out more about playing badminton with Special Olympics Suffolk, as part of the ActivLives Everyday Activ-Ipswich programme, please contact Mike McCarthy on 01473 345350 or email mike@activlives.org.uk    

SOS Go to Scotland

Suffolk Special Olympics athletes prepare to represent our region at
Anniversary Games in Scotland.


Four Ipswich badminton players will be amongst a select group of athletes who
will be competing at the forthcoming Special Olympics Anniversary Games. The
badminton players, together with three local athletes, will make up the Suffolk
contingent of ‘Team East’ at the Games which will be held in Stirling, Scotland
between 9 -13th August. The Games will consist of 3 full days of competition,
with 17 regions and nations from across the UK competing along with 5 visiting
teams from Europe.
The ‘Special Olympics’ are sport for athletes with an intellectual (learning)
disability, these Anniversary Games are a multi-sport event that is being held
to mark 50 years of Special Olympics worldwide and 40 years here in the UK.
The Anniversary Games will involve 1,400 athletes competing in 9 sports with
the support of over 500 volunteers all being cheered on by over 5,000 family
and friends throughout the 3 day event.
“We are really looking forward to supporting all of the Suffolk athletes and
badminton players at the Special Olympics Anniversary Games in Stirling”, said
Marilyn Andrews, one of the parents involved. “What an amazing opportunity
for all of our athletes to represent their county and region at such a prestigious
event! We hope that they enjoy every minute of it as they have all been
training so hard over the past few months. All of the families are so proud of all
of our Suffolk Special Olympians”.
The badminton team have been using Gainsborough Sports Centre for their
final preparations, with the support of Ipswich Borough Council.
“Ipswich Borough Council has continued supporting the badminton players
representing Special Olympics Suffolk as they train towards the Anniversary
Games in Stirling. It has been great to see the players working together as their
preparations build towards their big event in Scotland. All at Ipswich Borough
Council wish the badminton players and athletes the very best of luck and hope they all have a fantastic event,”

If you would like to find out more about Special Olympics Suffolk, please
contact Terry McEntee on 07775557784, visit the website at
wwwspecialolympicssuffolk.org or email terrymcentee474@gmail.com

Help Adam get to the 2019 SOGB World Games

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/team-gb-adam

About Adam:

Hi! I’m Adam and I have been selected to represent team GB in the 2019 Special Olympic games in Abu Dhabi! To be representing my country in track and field is a dream come true and something I have been working towards for the past 10 years. (That’s a lot of training sessions, a lot of pain and a lot of ice baths!)

Adam was born with a rare genetic disorder called Williams Syndrome. The condition is characterized by mild to moderate learning disability, and heart and blood vessel problems. Adam has a narrowing of the aortic valve in his heart which made everyday life challenging growing up. When Adam was younger, he was told by doctors he would not be likely to live an active life because of the severity of his heart condition, yet here we are! At age 14, he was encouraged by his teachers at The Ashley School in Lowestoft, Suffolk, to pursue athletics and it wasn’t long before he was competing across the country, as well as overseas for team England and team GB, as well as representing The Eastern region regularly.

Athletics is now a major part of Adams life and he trains extensively everyday for his sport. Adam has overcome multiple challenges to get to this point, and he will soon be flying 8 hours (and flying on a plane for the very first time!) with the union jack worn proudly on his chest.

About the Special Olympics world summer games:

Similar to the Olympics, this is the pinnacle for athletes with an intellectual (learning) disability to compete and achieve on the world stage. Unlike the olympics however, any qualifying athletes are required to fund the trip through their own means. Adam will be competing in the 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay. He has competed in numerous Special Olympics and able bodied competitions across the east region and midlands over the past few years. His qualification for SOGB selection was achieved through medal winning performances while representing the Eastern Region at the 2017 SOGB National Summer Games in Sheffield. At the Games he won gold in the 100m and bronze in both the 200m and long jump. He was also a member of the x 100m relay team which won bronze.

Why we need donations

Firstly, any amount given will help me reach my goal, and any support will be greatly appreciated! A little really can go a long way. Donations will go towards kit, accomodation, and travel expenses including physically getting to Adu Dhabi and squad training days held across the UK in the lead up to the games.

Suffolk Smashed it!

Special Olympics Badminton Tournament in Suffolk, a great
success!


The second Special Olympics Eastern Region Badminton Tournament
was held recently in Ipswich and has been hailed as a great success by
players and coaches alike. The tournament, which was organised by
Special Olympics Suffolk with the support of ActivLives and the Suffolk
County Council ‘Most Active County’ initiative, involved 25 players from
as far afield as Bournemouth, Southampton, Lincoln and Exeter as well
as our own local Suffolk players.

The standard of play was excellent throughout the day with some very
tight matches deciding the final medal placings.
“Special Olympics, which is sport for athletes with an intellectual
disability, is relatively new to Suffolk with the local branch having only
been established as recently as 2014. Special Olympics Suffolk currently
focusses upon badminton, athletics and gymnastics.
“This tournament provided a great opportunity for our local badminton
players to compete with and against Special Olympians from other
clubs across the country, said Mike McCarthy from ActivLives and
Special Olympics Suffolk.

“We have had such positive feedback from the players, coaches and
volunteers at the event. The volunteers that supported this event have
been absolutely brilliant, huge thanks must go to them as events like
these simply wouldn’t take place if it wasn’t for the volunteers who
organise and deliver them”, added Mike.
The tournament served as one of the last opportunities for selected
players to prepare for the Special Olympics GB National Anniversary
Games, which are being held in Stirling, Scotland this August. “Four of
our Suffolk players will be taking their places in the Eastern Region
team for Stirling, we wish them well”, said Terry McEntee, Chairman
of Special Olympics Suffolk.

If you would like to find out more about Special Olympics Suffolk,
please contact Terry McEntee on 07775557784 or email
terrymcentee474@gmail.com or visit the website at
http://www.specialolympicssuffolk.org

Come cheer on our athletes!

This Saturday the 12th May at Suffolk One, the Special Olympics Eastern Region
Badminton Tournament will take place. This has been organised by Special Olympics
Suffolk with the support of ActivLives and the Suffolk County Council
‘Most Active County’ initiative. The day will start at 10am and finish with an awards ceremony at 4pm. Please come and support our athletes as they have worked so hard. The day will be really exciting for all spectators.

This will also be a great event for those players who will be representing the Eastern Region in the 2018 SOGB Anniversary Games in Stirling August 9th to 13th.

Schedule:

10.00am: Opening Ceremony 1.30pm: Afternoon session starts

10.30am: Morning session starts 4.00pm: Medal Presentations