The Special Olympics National Summer Games 2005 was
held in Glasgow from July 2 - 9 attracting over 2,500 participating athletes, as
well as almost 1,000 coaches and 3,000 families, friends and supporters.
Special Olympics Great Britain National Games are held every 4 years and Glasgow
will hosted the 7th Games
This was the first time they have been held in Scotland. Nineteen teams
from throughout Great Britain took part with ten from England, one from
Wales and eight from Scotland. Athletes competed in 23 Sports including
first time sports of judo, kayaking and motorised activity training
Many of the City Council's excellent venues were utilised, along with
support from other local authority venues. All the venues were chosen to
allow the athletes to demonstrate their personal determination and courage
and to ensure that the Games are recognised as a prestigious sporting
event and reflect the wonderful achievements of the thousands of athletes
with a learning disability.
In total eleven facilities were used. Those situated in Glasgow include
Scotstoun Leisure Centre, Kelvin Hall International Arena, Glasgow Green,
Glasgow Green Football Centre, Tollcross Park Leisure Centre, Castlemilk
Sports Centre, Gorbals Leisure Centre, RDA Sandyflat and AMF Bowl.
With the wonderful support from North and South Lanarkshire Councils
they also made use of two other first rate venues, Langlands Golf Course
in South Lanarkshire and Strathclyde Park in North Lanarkshire.
The opening ceremony took
place at Celtic Park on 2 July, I was there, and it really was a
wonderful, moving occasion which kicked off eight days of sporting
Radio Clyde and The Daily Record were the official media
partners for the Special Olympics, and they were key in bringing together
a fantastic line-up of ..........Texas, Lucie Silvas and Robert Post
who headlined the opening ceremony at Celtic Park.
Texas played a selection of their greatest hits while Lucie Silvas sang
her new single The Game Is Won, which was riding high in the charts. Lucie
also offered to dedicate her next single to the Special Olympics. Robert
Post is a Norwegian singer who has become one of Norway's hottest rising
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Glesga Pal Bonny was kind enough
to send me these photographs of her wee brother Brian.
is Brian winning GOLD ......... fabulous.
Well done Honorary Glesga Pal
The games finished with a closing ceremony at the Glasgow
What is Special Olympics?
Special Olympics Oath:
"Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt"
Special Olympics is a year-round international programme of sports training
and competition for all persons with a learning disability. Founded in 1968 by
Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of President John F. Kennedy, it's mission is
"to give athletes with learning disabilities continuing opportunities to
develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in
the sharing of skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics
athletes and the community."
Over one million Special Olympics athletes train all year round in 25,000
communities in 153 countries around the world for sports competitions modeled on
the Olympic Games and held annually at each organisational level. International
Summer and Winter Games are held alternatively every two years. In 1998 the
International Olympic Committee granted official recognition to Special
Special Olympics Great Britain (SOGB) was established in 1978. As the leading
provider of sporting opportunities for people with a learning disability in the
United Kingdom it focuses uniquely on providing equality of opportunity for all
athletes regardless of their level of ability or degree of disability. It is a
volunteer-based organisation, with 105 local clubs/branches/regions throughout
Great Britain, where 450 volunteer sports coaches provide training for people
with a learning disability.
Special Olympics is founded on the belief that people with a learning
disability can, with proper coaching and encouragement, learn, enjoy and benefit
from participation in individual and team sports, adapted as necessary to meet
their individual needs.
Special Olympics believes that through regular sports training and
competition, people with a learning disability benefit physically, mentally and
socially. All Special Olympics competition is 'banded' into groups of equal
ability which allows individuals and teams the opportunity to achieve success
based on their own level of ability.
Families are strengthened and the community, at large through participation
and observation, is united with people with a learning disability in an
environment of equality, respect and acceptance.
This philosophy is carried right through to the selection of teams for
international events where all athletes and not just those who perform at an
elite level have the chance to be chosen to represent Great Britain.
Special Olympics is an organisation which gives opportunities for athletes
with a learning disability of all ability levels to achieve their full potential
through the medium of sport.
Eighteen months later I
received this wonderful Christmas present
a photo of Brian wishing us all a Merry Christmas 2006
resplendent in his GlesgaPals t-shirt !!
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