Sports & Development Newsletter May 2019

8th May 2019

Sports & Development Newsletter
May 2019



Special Olympics Unified Mile - 26 May 2019

Hopefully by now you will have heard about the exciting partnership between Special Olympics and London Marathon Events to launch the very first Special Olympics Unified Mile, on Sunday 26 May 2019 (11:40) in Central London.

This exciting event will be a part of the Vitality Westminster Mile, the world’s largest timed mile, and will be held on Sunday 26 May 2019 in central London. It takes place on a spectacular course that starts on The Mall and finishes in front of Buckingham Palace. Every finisher gets a medal and a goody bag.

The Special Olympics Unified Mile is open to absolutely everyone – whether they are connected with Special Olympics or not.  Starting on The Mall and finishing in front of Buckingham Palace, it's a chance to run, skip, walk or dance alongside athletes, our volunteers and staff in a truly amazing opportunity.  

The organisers of the Vitality Westminster Mile have offered Special Olympics a dedicated wave in the Mile, free of charge, as part of its commitment to highlight social inclusion as a key message of the event.

You can register to participate in the wave HERE.
Registration Deadline 17th May. 

Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia Football Week

The 19th Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia Football Week is taking place 25 May – 2 June.  If you have any football activities taking place during those dates, we’d be delighted to hear about them!  Please email Andy Heffer with details – date, what you are doing and how many athletes will be participating.  Please also let us know if you are anticipating having female players involved in your event (and how many) as this is a focus for Football Week this year.

We have heard recently about a couple of great partnerships that are bringing new football teams into the Special Olympics GB family.  We’d love to hear about any partnerships that you have with local professional or amateur football clubs that are helping you to provide coaching or competition for your Special Olympics club or region.  We are also in dialogue with the Football Foundation and would like to know if you are using a facility for training or competition that has received funding from them – there should be a plaque up somewhere if so!  Please email Andy Heffer with details.

Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition

We sent out details to regions of an invitation that we’ve received to the Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition taking place in Slovakia in September.  There is just a short time to register interest for this by the closing date of 10 May.  There are more details on the website.

2021 World Winter Games

We will shortly be inviting application for the positions of Head of Delegation, Assistant Head of Delegation and Head Coaches for Alpine Skiing for the GB Team for the next Special Olympics World Winter Games which are taking place in February 2021 in Åre and Östersund, Sweden.  You can register your interest in any of these voluntary posts by emailing Andy Heffer.

2021 National Summer Games

We are now inviting applications from suitably experienced volunteers for the position of sports’ Technical Delegates for the 2021 National Summer Games in Liverpool.  Technical Delegates will play a key role in ensuring the successful operation of the competition in their sport.  The Technical Delegate will  work alongside a Competition Manager (recruited by the Local Organising Committee) in developing the operational plan for the competition and have the lead responsibility for areas requiring Special Olympics specific knowledge such as divisioning, rules modifications etc.  The closing date for applications is 24 June.  A role description and application form are available by emailing Andy Heffer.

Staff Update

We need to let you know about a couple of staff changes that will affect where you send some information to national office. Our National Volunteer Manager, Gearoid Mitchell is leaving shortly for pastures new.  You can continue to send Volunteer Registration information or DBS applications to national office and continue to direct any queries relating to these to Lionel Barnard.  Please be aware that Lionel is in the office for two days every fortnight, so it may take a little while to process forms and respond to emails.  Any other volunteer related queries, such as help with recruiting volunteers for events etc. should be sent to Andy Heffer.

Also, Jessica Pointon (our Fundraising and Administration Assistant) has also left recently.  Please now send any competition sanction forms or questions relating to these to Andy Heffer.

And, we delighted to announce that Cinta Esmel has joined us as the new Director of Fundraising.  You can find more information about Cinta HERE.   Or if you have any questions at all connected to donations or fundraising, please contact on this email address HERE


And finally...

We loved this piece that we were sent by Sarah Barron, one of our volunteers.

“In 2016, a friend introduced me to the world of Special Olympics volunteering and I joined in for the first time at a Southern Regional Athletics Competition. It was an eye opening and very rewarding experience and I decided that it was something I wanted to get involved with.  Three years, one World Winter Games (Austria), one National Games (Sheffield) and one Anniversary Games (Stirling) later and I was off to the UAE for the World Summer Games!

At the Winter Games in 2017 I had the honour of being assigned the role of DAL (Delegation Assistant Liaison) for the Team GB skiers and was looking forward to carrying out the same role in Abu Dhabi (albeit not with the British team!) This time I had been assigned to SO Liechtenstein and whilst I was unable to cheer (loudly) for my home team, the athletes and coaches welcomed me into their world for two weeks. In the role of DAL you are on call 24/7 and need to support the team in whatever way is needed. It was a demanding and tiring two weeks but getting to spend the time with amazing and inspiring athletes was 100% worthwhile.

The next two World Games are in Sweden (2021) and Berlin (2023) which is a bit too long for me to wait so I’m looking forward to starting volunteering with SO Surrey in the next month. “


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