Local athletes take part in Special Olympics GB
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Swimmer Adam Osborne from Little Stoke was selected for the honour of representing the South West region of England and walk the torch in to Bath’s grand Royal Crescent as part of the official opening ceremony for the games. He was cheered on by an audience of 7000 spectators, made up of 1,700 athletes from England, Scotland and Wales, 600 coaches, 500 specially recruited volunteers and over 3,500 family members as well as local dignitaries and invited guests. Adam was then joined on stage by fellow South Gloucestershire athlete Christopher Lloyd, from Yate, who is competing in the football events.
South Gloucestershire has a total of 18 athletes taking part in the games, with individuals and teams competing in a range of swimming, football and boccia events. The athletes are all involved with the South Gloucestershire Union of Disability Sports (SUDS), and are hopeful for success at the three day event following months of hard work and preparation.
After assembling at South Gloucestershire & Stroud College for a photograph on Wednesday afternoon, athletes and coaches representing the South West region made their way to Bath to attend the opening ceremony. The athletes were waved off by their friends and family along with Cllr Ian Boulton, Chairman of South Gloucestershire Council.
He said: “The council is committed to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to take part in physical activity and sport and achieve to their highest level. It is really encouraging to see people achieve so much despite the challenges life has dealt them. We are really proud of all the hard work they have done to get here, and on behalf of the council I would like to wish all of our athletes the very best of luck.”
Jasiu and Stasiu Kuchcinski, twin athletes from South Gloucestershire who are competing in Boccia events, said: “We are really excited about taking part in the Special Olympics. We have been looking forward to this and we really hope to bring a medal back. Boccia is a fantastic sport and we have a lot of fun playing it.”
The Special Olympics is the UK’s largest sports event for athletes with intellectual disabilities and takes place every four years. The ninth Special Olympics GB National Summer Games are being held in the city of Bath from 28 August to 1 September. A total of 1,700 athletes from England, Scotland and Wales will compete in 12 sports over three days of competition.
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