Liverpool selected to host Special Olympics

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Special Olympics volleyball action. Pic © Special Olympics Twitter

Liverpool has been chosen to host the Special Olympics GB Summer Games in 2021.

The games will be the biggest multi-sport tournament the city has hosted since the World Firefighters Games in 2008.

The Special Olympics started in 1982 and was hosted in Knowsley, Merseyside. The mission of the sports organisation is to provide year-round training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic disciplines for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

The event will be held from Tuesday 3rd August to Saturday 7th August 2021. Venues include Wavertree Athletics Village, Greenbank Sports Academy and ACC Liverpool.

It is expected to bring in the region of 2,000 athletes and 500 volunteers together. This is on top of the estimated 5,000 family members who will visit Liverpool in the summer of that year, making it an exciting event for the city.

Chris Hull, a representative for the Special Olympics, told JMU Journalism: “We are delighted that the country and the media have paid more attention to the incredible skills, ability and contribution to the world. Sport is something that the world loves and help to connect our athletes with society. People with learning disabilities love sport, too.”

YouTube: Ross Crane, JMU Journalism TV

There will be an opening and closing ceremony hosted at Sefton Park and Echo Arena respectively. Mr Hull said: “We are thrilled to be heading to Liverpool in 2021. [It’s] a great city which we know will help to grow the recognition of Special Olympics and our athletes.”

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “As a city we have a belief in the power of sport, physical activity and events to transform lives and to inspire people to fulfil their potential, regardless of the nature of their disability.

“Liverpool will deliver an inspirational event that provides everyone involved with ‘the time of their life’, including athletes and their families, spectators, volunteers, officials, partners and everyone watching who can be inspired by these memorable moments.”

Twitter: Liverpool Waters

About Rebecca Thomas, JMU Journalism