Scots go for gold at the Special Olympics


Scotland will be represented by 17 players when the badminton action gets underway at the Special Olympics GB National Games on Wednesday.

Taking place at Sheffield’s English Institute of Sport, the Special Olympics GB National Games is the country’s largest multi-sports event for athletes with intellectual disabilities in 2017.

Around 2,600 athletes with intellectual disabilities of all ages and classifications will come together, with almost 90 of those taking to the badminton court.

Representing Lothian across multiple events will be Jennifer Gray, Michael McCraw and Daniel Strang, while Alistair Daniels, Kerry Duncan, Daniel McCleary and Emma Stewart will feature for Tayside.

Scotland West has the biggest crop of representatives, with David Adie, Aimee Allan, Ronan Coyle, Diane Gillan, Hazel Irvine and Karen Lyttle descending on the Steel City, as well as Ross McCann, James Pert, Derek Tomkinson and Sandy White.

The men’s singles and women’s doubles events will take place on Wednesday, before the women’s singles and men’s doubles are played on Thursday.

On Friday, the badminton action will culminate with the mixed doubles, before the closing ceremony later that afternoon.

BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said: “I wish all the athletes representing Scotland at the Special Olympics the best of luck.

“I have had the privilege of watching these athletes compete many in the 4 Nations Para-Badminton events held in Scotland so I know how dedicated they are to their sport.

“I have no doubt that they will do themselves and their country proud.”

Held every four years, the Special Olympics GB National Games represents an opportunity to showcase the abilities of children and adults with intellectual disabilities, allowing them to compete at a national level and experience the personal achievement this brings.

It also enables them to make friends, travel and socialise, with the opportunity to participate in 19 different sports.

Throughout the competition, athletes from across all sports will be supported by 800 coaches, 750 volunteers, 150 officials and more than 5,000 family and friends.

This is the second time the event has been held in Sheffield, with the Steel City also hosting the four-day championships in 1993.

Scotland is sending about 500 athletes from across the country - the largest contingent in the UK outside this year's hosts.