Athletes arrive in Stoke-on-Trent for West Midlands Special Olympics

Special Olympics Logo196 athletes from across the West Midlands will go for gold in the city this weekend as part of a Special Olympics Athletics Competition.

Competitors from across the region, including 38 athletes from the North Staffordshire Special Olympics Athletics Team will take part in track and field competitions. The events include 3000 metres, 100 metres and 200 metres races, standing long jump, shot putt, and the pentathlon.

The athletes will take part in the North Staffordshire Special Olympics Athletics Competition which is being held at Northwood Stadium, near the City Centre. The competition takes place between 10am and 5pm on Saturday May 19, guests invited include the Deputy Lord Lieutenant Humphrey Scott-Moncrieff, High Sherriff Sarah Elsby, The Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent councillor Terry Follows, and former Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent Tom Brennan.

Councillor Matt Fry, the Special Olympics fundraiser and promoter, said,

I’m hugely excited that this Special Olympics competition is taking place in Stoke-on-Trent. It’s an area that I’m actively involved in and one that I’m very passionate about. I hope local people take the time to come and support these inspirational young men and women during what should be an exciting competition.

Special Olympics Great Britain is the country’s largest provider of a year round sports training and competition programme for all people with learning disabilities. Special Olympics are part of the Olympic family, but unlike the Paralympics, which is for elite disabled athletes, it is not just a sporting event.  Special Olympics concentrate on community sport at all levels and for all disabilities.

Councillor Mark Meredith, cabinet member for economic development, added,

With the eyes of the world firmly on the UK at the moment with the upcoming Olympic Games it makes us extremely proud as a city to have so many talented athletes from Stoke-on-Trent getting involved. This competition is something which gives a unique chance to those who have faced different challenges growing up and it’s there moment to shine.

Medals presentations will take place after each event and there will be an opening ceremony for each of the teams taking part where the Special Olympics’ oath will be said

Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.

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