The 2017 Special Olympics Great Britain National Summer Games will be held in Sheffield from August 7 to 11, the organisation has confirmed.
The Games – the 10th in the organisation’s history – is the showpiece domestic event every four years for the organisation and its athletes and will be the UK’s biggest disability sports event in 2017. It will also be the second to be hosted by the steel city – it was previously held there in 1993.
Venues for the Games will include the Sheffield Hallam University City Athletics Stadium; Sheffield City Trust’s Ponds Forge International Sports Centre; Hillsborough Leisure Centre; Concord Sports Centre; Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre; the English Institute of Sport Sheffield and Forge Valley School.
Special Olympics GB is the largest registered charity providing year-round sports training and competition opportunities for people with learning disabilities, serving some 8,000 registered athletes annually through almost 150 volunteer-led local clubs in 19 regions.
Councillor Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Sheffield has been selected to host the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games in three years’ time.
“The decision is testament to the fact that Sheffield is a great sporting city, home to the sort of world-leading venues that befit a highly prestigious event such as this.
“From world-class venues such as the English Institute of Sport and Ponds Forge, to the multi award-winning Hillsborough Leisure Centre, Sheffield really does have it all. However, this isn’t just about places, but about people. ‘Sheffielders’ are well known for their love of sport, in what is our welcoming and inclusive city.
“This is another opportunity for our communities to get involved in a wonderful celebration of all things sporting. We estimate the economic benefit hosting the games in Sheffield will be in the region of £1.5 million.”
Karen Wallin, Special Olympics GB’s CEO, said: “We are thrilled to be heading back to Sheffield. We expect in the region of 2,000 athletes and 500 voluntary coaches – supported by a further 650 volunteers and estimated 5,000 family members – to visit Sheffield in the summer of 2017.
“We are sure that the great City of Sheffield will provide a very successful and hugely memorable event for our athletes, their families, coaches and volunteers.”
The timetable for the 2017 Games is as follows:
• Monday August 7: Athletes arrive in Sheffield
• Tuesday August 8: Competition and opening ceremony
• Wednesday August 9: Competition
• Thursday August 10: Competition
• Friday August 11: Competition and closing ceremonies
• Saturday August 12: Athletes depart Sheffield.