Tockwith’s Summers to join elite at Special Olympics

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A TOCKWITH football coach is getting set for an experience of a lifetime at the forthcoming Special Olympics which starts in Greece tomorrow.

Mark Summers will join seven athletes and another coach from Yorkshire and Humberside.

They will team up with the 1567 strong GB squad that will make the trip across Europe.

Over 7,000 athletes will be taking part from almost 190 nations together with 2,500 coaches and 25,000 volunteers. The GB squad will be taking part in 17 of the 22 disciplines which are taking place at 30 venues across Greece.

Special Olympics Great Britain is the country’s largest provider of year-round sports training and competition for adults and children with learning disabilities (a learning disability is a life-long mental disability).

It affects an individual’s capacity to communicate effectively, learn new information and adopt new skills), regardless of ability.

The charity encourages every individual to become more self-confident, while improving their fitness, health and wellbeing by taking part, training and competing in 23 Olympic-type sports. Athletes discover new abilities and talents.

Special Olympics competitions are structured so that athletes compete with other athletes of similar ability in equitable divisions.

National Games are held every four years.

Also representing North Yorkshire at the event is Lynn Williams, from Bilton, who is competing in the powerlifting (see inside for more).

The Special Olympics Great Britain programme was established more than 30 years ago and now has nearly 8,000 athletes in 135 clubs, which is run by a group of more than 2,800 volunteers.

The 2011 Athens Games run from June 25 to July 4.

There are 22 sports at the event, including basketball, cycling, softball, tennis and athletics.

For more information on the Games log on to www.specialolympicsgb.org.uk