This summer, for the first time in almost two and a half years, Special Olympics GB returns to full-scale competition with the largest celebration of intellectual disability sport in Great Britain with a brand-new format called The Special Olympics GB Summer Series of Sport.
Running between June and September 2022, The Special Olympics GB Summer Series of Sport will be 17 single and multi-sport events, providing competition in a minimum of 12 sports, including athletics, swimming and basketball, across Great Britain and will offer the opportunity for at least 1,500 Special Olympics GB athletes, with the support of our volunteers, to compete for the first time since February 2020 due to the consequences of Covid-19.
Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on our athletes who have been disproportionately negatively affected throughout. A recent major study in America concluded that people with intellectual disability are 2.75 times as likely to die following a diagnosis of Covid-19, while people with Down Syndrome are 10 times more likely to die from Covid-19.* Both of which shine a stark light on the true cost the global pandemic has had on our community. And that’s without mentioning the psychological and social impact on people with intellectual disabilities where heighted anxiety, increased isolation and loneliness are just a few of the knock-on effects for a group of individuals who often find themselves already isolated in their communities. **
The Special Olympics GB Summer Series of Sport is a major new format to the organisation which has been developed by a working group of athletes, volunteers and staff from Special Olympics GB National Office. Their aim, to create a sustainable format which offers competition across a wide number of sports in a safe environment while still providing a National Summer Games experience of fun and friendship opportunities. The Special Olympics GB Summer Series of Sport not only achieves all of that but will also act as qualification for any athletes interested in being selected to represent Special Olympics GB at The Special Olympics World Summer Games in Berlin 2023.