Over four fantastic days last week, Stirling played host venue for the 2018 Special Olympics GB Anniversary Games, held to celebrate Great Britain's 40 year membership of the organisation.
In total, around 1,200 athletes from 17 regions took part across 10 sports categories, including a full singles, doubles and mixed programme in badminton.
Held in the Gannochy Sports Centre from 9th to 12th August, ten Special Olympics GB Regions sent 28 women and 48 men, including athletes from Lothian, Scotland West and Tayside, and a team from Belgium to compete in singles, level doubles and mixed doubles in the badminton event.
The event was supported by around 30 volunteers from all over Great Britain (Just part of the circa 1000 person strong army of volunteers that supported the event overall!).
In men’s singles, Scottish players placed well across 8 divisions, with gold medals being won by Scots in 2 of the 8 divisions. Michael McCraw, representing Lothian, won all four of his matches in straight games to take the gold medal in class 1. James Pert finished just behind his Scottish compatriot to take the class 1 silver.
A scot also took the gold medal home in the class 6 division – Daniel McCleary, representing Tayside, winning five matches out of five on a successful day. Fellow Scot Gregor Hardie came through the 3/4th place playoff to take home a Bronze medal in this same division. There was also a silver medal for Ronan Coyle of Scotland West in class 5.
In a fantastic achievement, Scottish players secured medals in every one of the five disciplines contested across women’s singles. Hayley Scott of Tayside went through four games undefeated in class 3 to leave at the end of the day with the gold medal. Tammy McDonald, Diane Gillan and Emma Stewart all took home silver medals of their own, while Shannon Gunn and Kerry Duncan collected bronze.
Gold medals were a little harder to come by for the Scots in men’s doubles but that didn’t stop Dean Bernard and James Pert securing a silver medal in class 1 – while David Adie and Ross McCann claimed a silver of their own in class 2. Alistair Daniels and Daniel McCleary also secured a joint bronze in the same division.
Women’s doubles only saw competition in two classes and Scots were successful in returning home with medals from both – Shannon Gunn and Tammy McDonald taking gold in class 2 and Kerry Duncan and Emma Stewart taking bronze in class 1.
James Pert teamed up with Diane Gillan in mixed doubles to take home a silver medal in class 1 – ensuring that James left with medals from each discipline played and Diane added to her women’s singles haul. Kerry Duncan and Alistair Daniels each doubled their bronze medal tallies by adding a bronze medal in the mixed doubles class 2.
The Tayside team
The Scotland West team
The Lothian team
As always, the competition wouldn't be possible without the support of many fantastic volunteers. Some of the badminton crew pictured below.