Special Olympics 2017: “Show their ability, not their disability”

Artists and athletes came together to celebrate the upcoming Special Olympics at the reveal of a mural this week.

It was a collaboration between digital artist Greg Harris, Art Works students with learning disabilities, and athletes from Special Olympics GB.

Sheffield athlete and welterweight champion Kell Brook also came out to support the event.

“Anything encouraging more involvement in sport, I’m behind. I just want everyone to come out and get involved, it’s such a fantastic event.”

The art depicts various Sheffield landmarks, including the City Hall, Winter Gardens, and the Arts Tower.

Chris Hull, of Special Olympics GB, said: “Greg has done it all for nothing. What a wonderful contribution. He has just got the spirit of the Special Olympics.

“Also, the work of the students of Art Works is nothing short of inspirational.”

Greg said he was proud the event was taking place in Sheffield and wanted to make the city and the athletes the focus of the piece.

“I was chuffed to bits to be chosen to create this. I had learning difficulties at school so this was a personal thing that’s really important to me.”

Students from the Art Works group contributed ideas which were incorporated into the final design.

Loop Print of Harvest Lane also helped by printing the artwork without charge. It measures 98 inches tall by 192 inches wide.

You can now see the mural opposite Sheffield railway station by Sheffield Hallam University.

The Special Olympics National Summer Games are held every four years, with the goal of inspiring athletes with learning difficulties. 2,600 will take part in 20 sports, at venues across Sheffield and South Yorkshire, to be held during August this year.

The opening ceremony will take place on Tuesday 8 August at Bramall Lane Stadium.

Bobby Futter

Second year journalism student and student communications assistant for SSiD at the University of Sheffield.

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