The Special Olympics Great Britain 10 pin bowling squad won 8 medals recently at the Special Olympics Germany 8th National Games in Munich. Great Britain's squad, comprising bowlers Jonathan Frett, Mikey Lines, Scott Hastings and Hilary Thomas, took home 7 gold medals and one silver at the Dream Bowl Palace, one of the largest bowling centres in the world. Competing in a field of 146 bowlers, the GB team emerged victorious with gold in the overall team, men's doubles and ladies singles category and silver in the men's singles classification.
The Special Olympics National Games commemorated the 40th anniversary of the Olympic Games in Munich. More than 5,000 athletes competed at the Games in 18 sports, with 2,500 coaches and 4,000 volunteers. Special Olympics teams from Great Britain, Austria, Switzerland and France were invited to compete. "We didn't think we would win because of all the people," said Hastings. "But we did our best for GB and got gold! I am so happy to have played for my country!"
Alan Howe, head coach for England and Special Olympics Surrey added; "The Special Olympics Great Britain squad really came together and performed as a cohesive team. The athletes battled mental and physical exhaustion throughout the long event, but thanks to the support and encouragement from their fellow teammates, the bowlers were able to emerge on top. It was my personal pleasure to see something magical happen in Munich and I am so pleased I was part of it."
Special Olympics GB offers grassroots sports training and competition programmes in 26 sports for children and adults with learning disabilities. Special Olympics Surrey, which organised the athletes for the event, has one of the largest squads of 10 pin bowlers in the country, and is the only group that runs a BTBA league for people with learning disabilities.