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Let the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games begin

The Special Olympics GB National Summer Games will open in Sheffield next week with a star-studded ceremony.

The Games will see athletes with intellectual disabilities compete in a wide range of sporting events – from athletics, aquatics and boccia to team sports such as football and netball.

Girl in powerchair playing catch with supporter

Special Olympics GB is the largest registered charity providing year-round sports training and competition opportunities for people with intellectual (learning) disabilities. Almost 1.2 million people in the UK (2% of the population) have a learning disability.

Special Olympics GB serves over 8,000 registered athletes annually through almost 150 volunteer-led local clubs and 19 regions. It is a registered charity and is supported annually by individual and corporate donations.

The National Summer Games are the showpiece event every four years for the organisation and its athletes.

The opening ceremony will take place at Sheffield’s Bramall Lane Stadium on Tuesday 8 August, with former Spandau Ballet frontman Tony Hadley headlining the evening. Guests will also recognise the familiar faces of Downton Abbey’s Jim Carter, F1 broadcaster Suzi Perry and football pundit Chris Kamara, who will host the evening.

Additional entertainment on the night will be provided by the Rationale Theatre Company and will include talented Yorkshire based artists Under the Stars, Team Power Stilts, Aim To Dance, Kansaze African Dancers, Chinese Lions Dance, Team Katalyst Dance and Gymnasts and the ParaCheer Cheerleaders.

Also making an appearance will be the band Toseland, fronted by double World Superbike champion-turned-rocker James Toseland. Toseland’s ‘We’ll Stop at Nothing’ is the Game’s official anthem – watch the music video recorded especially for the Games below. You can purchase the song online, with all profits going to Special Olympics GB to support athletes with learning disabilities.

The Special Olympics National Summer Games will take place in Sheffield from Monday 7 to Saturday 12 August. Entry is free for all sporting events.

Tickets for the opening ceremony at Bramall Lane Stadium cost £8 for adults, £6 for disabled people and persons aged 60 and above and £5 for under 16s and students. You can buy tickets online, over the phone on 0114 253 7200 or by visiting the Bramall Lane Box Office in person.