The Department for Culture, Media and Sport have today announced a huge and welcome investment in one of the UK’s most under-recognised charities.
Special Olympics GB, which offers year-round sports coaching and competition activities to more than 8000 children and adults with learning difficulties, received the funding from the DCMS and deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who said he was: “immensely proud to be supporting Special Olympics GB to actively recruit, inspire and empower people with intellectual disabilities to reach for the finishing line in their favourite sport.
"Over a million people in the UK have an intellectual disability, and sport is a key component in helping to tackle stigma, improve health and broaden their horizons with new opportunities.”
The money, which will be used to support the team of 115 athletes at this summer’s Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, will go a long way in supporting a charity which I have seen first hand deliver some of the most important and worthwhile charitable initiatives to some really deserving people.
This summer’s games, which are set to be the biggest event in LA since the 1984 Olympics, will also be the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world this year.
But it is also in the UK where this money can come to fruition, with the 2017 Special Olympics GB summer games in Sheffield expected to be the biggest ever. With more than 2000 athletes to be taking part, and 10,000 fans, friends and family members there in support, the work of this entirely voluntary based charity is sure to gain some more much needed recognition.
Aiming to ensure that all participants are enjoying themselves in an inclusive social community through the medium of sport, the worldwide Special Olympics organisation helps more than 4.4 million people in almost 200 countries. But with limited funding, and based solely on the immense effort put in by an army of volunteers, this wonderful organisation is always desperate for any support it can get.