The third Special Olympics Eastern Region Badminton Tournament was held recently in Ipswich and has been hailed as terrific success by players and coaches alike.

The tournament, which was organised by Special Olympics Suffolk with the support of ActivLives and the Suffolk County Council ‘Most Active County’ initiative, involved 41 competitors who, in addition to a very strong Suffolk contingent, came from as far afield as the south coast, midlands and even the west of Scotland!

The standard of play was excellent throughout the day with some extremely close matches deciding the final medal placings.
Special Olympics, which is sport for athletes with an intellectual disability, is developing steadily in Suffolk with four sports currently being focussed upon, these being badminton, athletics, gymnastics and boccia.

“This tournament provides a great opportunity for our Suffolk badminton players to compete with and against Special Olympics players from across the country, said Mike McCarthy from ActivLives and Special Olympics Suffolk.

We really feel as though we have broken new ground this year with this being our first time at Ipswich Borough Council’s Gainsborough Sports Centre, a record number of entries and the brand new ‘Team Relay’ format, that we introduced and which was a terrific success with the competitors.

We have had such positive feedback from the players and coaches as a result of the event. Everyone has commented upon the great team of volunteers who made this event happen. Huge thanks must go to them as events like these simply wouldn’t take place if it wasn’t for the volunteers who organise and deliver them”, added Mike.

This has been the first time that Gainsborough Sports Centre has hosted this event, and what a success it has been! It was great to see local athletes competing with those from different parts of the UK. It was a great event to see and support and we hope that it will be back next year to grow on this success, said Daniel Hooper, Sports Centre Manager.

Murton Mann, Chairman of Special Olympics GB, commented having visited the tournament, “What an incredible event that Special Olympics Suffolk have hosted. It was wonderful to see athletes from around the country travel to this competition which is now firmly established on the Special Olympics calendar. The continued support of local charity ActivLives, has been very important in enabling this opportunity for people with an Intellectual Disability to demonstrate their abilities and have fun… all part of helping to transform lives!”

If you would like to find out more about Special Olympics Suffolk, please contact Terry McEntee on 07775557784 or email terrymcentee474@gmail.com or visit the website at www.specialolympicssuffolk.org 

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