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Suffolk Players Win Silver at National Games

Two Ipswich badminton players were amongst a group of Suffolk athletes competing recently at the Special Olympics GB National Games as part of the Eastern Region team. The two badminton players joined up with a team of 22 athletes and gymnasts to make up the Suffolk contingent of ‘Team East’ at the games which were held in Sheffield.

The National Games are a multi-sport event held every four years and the highlight of the Special Olympics calendar in this country. The event involved 2,600 athletes competing in 19 sports with the support of over a 1,000 volunteers all cheered on by over 7,000 family and friends throughout the week.

Ipswich pair, Kathy & CameronKathy Brill and Cameron Sherman, both competed in the singles competitions where they came up against some very tough, and considerably more experienced opponents from around the UK. On the last day of competition they teamed up to win the silver medal in the mixed doubles event, defeating teams from the South of England and Scotland on their way to the final.

Marilyn Andrews, one of the athletes’ parents said "A massive well done to everyone involved with the Special Olympics in Sheffield. We had a fantastic week watching the badminton and supporting Cameron and Kathy. The spirit at the games was amazing with all of the players cheering and supporting each other. The volunteers deserve a special thank you for giving up their time to help make it a very memorable week for all of us”.

Mike McCarthy from ActivLives and Special Olympics Suffolk said “Winning a medal in their first National Games was an amazing achievement by Kathy and Cameron and is a testament to all of the hard work that they have put in over the last few months. Thank you to all of their local supporters, family and friends who helped to raise the money which has enabled them to compete at this fabulous event. We are all very proud of them both!”

Special Olympics Suffolk

Special Olympics Tournament in Suffolk

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 Special Olympics Suffolk Teamof 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 focuses 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.

Special Olympics Suffolk Special Olympics Suffolk (SOS) is the Suffolk branch of Special Olympics Great Britain (SOGB). SOGB is the largest provider of year round sport training and competition for all people with an intellectual (learning) disability. Special Olympics Suffolk helps to provide appropriate competitive and recreational sports opportunities in Suffolk. Currently the sports supported include athletics, badminton and gymnastics. Special Olympics is recognised as the third member of the “Olympic Family” and is the only other organisation, in addition to the Paralympics, that is allowed to use the word ‘Olympic.’