Special Olympics Family Programme launch event held at Sheffield’s Town Hall

(Special Olympics GB National Games Families Programme Launch)

By Lewis Catchpole


Special Olympics GB has launched the ‘Families Programme’ for their tenth National Summer Games,

which will be held for the second time in its history in Sheffield next August.

The Lord mayor of Sheffield, councillor Talib Hussein, Special Olympics GB athletes, along with

representatives from the Families programme official partner – Lions Club International, revealed

details of what family members of the athletes can expect at next year’s games.

Sheffield United Representatives & Mayor

(The Lord mayor of Sheffield, councillor Talib Hussein, with Sheffield United representatives, who are hosting the opening ceremony at Bramall Lane)


Gaye Barber, director of volunteering for Special Olympics GB, said “We want to give the families a

warm welcome, we want to maximise their experience, we have amazing sporting facilities here, and

we have ease of travel with the help of the supertram which we are delighted with.

“We’d like Sheffield to open their arms and embrace the games and we would like you to open your

doors and let the families in if we can all do that we will have a great time.”

Gaye Barbour Speech

(Gaye Barber, director of volunteering for Special Olympics GB)


The Special Olympics is the country’s largest multi-sports event for athletes with intellectual

disabilities to be held in 2017.

Around 2,600 athletes with intellectual disabilities of all ages and abilities will come together from

across the country. They will be supported over 4 days of competition by 800 coaches, 750

volunteers, 150 officials and over 5,000 family and friends.

Jayne Thompson, whose son Alex who won gold in basketball at last year’s World event in Los

Angeles, said “Alex has been competing for 14 years, and we are looking forward to him competing

in Sheffield as we are from Sheffield.”

“We got 11 of us supporting Alex in Los Angeles so we are expecting a lot more here.”

The family programme launch at the Lord Mayor’s Parlour at the Town Hall was followed by a small

tour of the city on Sheffield’s famous tram network, calling at iconic venues.

Lord Mayor Talib Hussein said, it is something special for Sheffield as we are a sporting city anyway.

There will be more people visiting Sheffield bringing business with them which will be fantastic.”

If you would like to find out more about the families programme or the Special Olympics visit the

official games website at ww.sheffield2017.org.uk

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