Special Olympics GB and Eurostar have launched a new partnership to support the British athletes with intellectual disabilities competing at the 2014 European Summer Games in Antwerp, Belgium this September.

Eurostar is the exclusive travel partner for the team and will provide all return travel and logistical and VIP support for 100 Special Olympics GB athletes, coaches and officials heading to Antwerp from St Pancras International.

The launch held on 30 April commenced at 10:30 am at Eurostar’s St Pancras International station with the following key figures in attendance:

Special Olympics GB judo athletes - Thomas Farley and Holly Tadman
Special Olympics GB judo head coach - Paul Everest
Special Olympics GB ambassador, actor and film star - Colin Salmon
Eurostar CEO - Nicolas Petrovic
Special Olympics GB CEO - Karen Wallin

Nicolas Petrovic, Eurostar’s CEO, said: "We are delighted to support the great work of Special Olympics GB and their team representing Britain at the 2014 European Summer Games.

“In our 20 year history we have carried many teams for key sporting events including transporting the French, Belgian and Dutch national teams and the French and Belgian Paralympics teams for London 2012. We are proud of the welcome and support we provide which ensures that the travel becomes an integral part of the overall experience.

“Antwerp is a quick rail connection from Brussels and a great destination for the European Summer Games. It will be easy for sports fans to travel to Belgium to cheer on their teams.”

Special Olympics GB CEO Karen Wallin said: "I would like to thank Eurostar for extending their travel expertise and support to our athletes for the forthcoming European Sumer Games in Antwerp. Generous contributions, like this one from Eurostar, help to give our athletes the best possible preparation for one of the highlights of their lives.”

The European Summer Games will open on 13 September and will run until the closing ceremony on 20 September 2014. In the region of 2,000 athletes with learning disabilities from 58 European countries will take part in the following 10 sports events:

Athletics, Artistic Gymnastics, Football, Bocce, Badminton, Basketball, Cycling, Judo, Table Tennis and Swimming.

It is the European showpiece event for Special Olympics – held every four years for the organisation and its athletes. Almost 1.2 million people in the UK (2% of the population) have an intellectual disability.

Photo Credit: Big Image Photography