Special Olympics European Summer Games

The Special Olympics European Summer Games in Antwerp, Belgium this year will see a number of judo players with learning disabilities attending from September 13 to 20, writes Donna Richardson.

Holly Tadman, from St Leonards, and Thomas Farley, from Peasmarsh, near Rye who attend Westerleigh Judo Club, John and Zoe Kane from Aberdeen Judo Club and Daniel Amel-Azizpour of Kodachi have all been selected for the Games.

Thomas said: “I am looking foward to competing, seeing Antwerp and taking in the atmosphere.” John said:

“I can’t wait to meet new friends and promote Special Olympics and disability judo.

The GB Special Olympics GB is the largest registered charity providing year round sports training and competition opportunities for people with learning disabilities.”

Some 48 sportsmen are taking part across a variety of Games and this is the European showpiece event for Special Olympics, which is held every four years for the organisation and its athletes.

The team travelled out to Antwerp on Eurostar ahead of the Games, after meeting the Prime Minister David Cameron at Number 10 Downing Street.

The Opening Ceremony kicks starts the Games on 13 September and 2,000 athletes with learning disabilities from 58 European countries will take part in ten events.

These are: athletics, artistic gymnastics, football, bocce, badminton, unified basketball, cycling, judo, table tennis and swimming. Minister for Sport,

Helen Grant, said: “Congratulations to all those who have been selected to represent Special Olympics GB at the Special Olympics European Summer Games in Belgium.

“It will be a very proud moment for all the athletes to represent their country and I wish them all the best.”

Karen Wallin, Special Olympics GB chief executive officer (CEO), said: “I would like to congratulate every single member of our team who will represent Great Britain in Antwerp at the European Summer Games.

Special Olympians en route to Antwerp on the Eurostar

“We are proud of each and every athlete and we know they will strive to be the very best they can.”

To follow the action visit http://www.so2014.com/so2014-european-summer-games

Photo from left to right: Holly Tadman, Thomas Farley, Daniel Amel-Azizpour, Jo Imrie, John Kane, Paul Everest and Zoe Kane.