The countdown to the country’s biggest multi-sport disability event of the year continued with the formal signing of contracts for the University of Bath to host the Special Olympics GB 2013 National Summer Games.
The Games run from 28 August through to 1 September and will see more than 1700 athletes with intellectual disabilities from across Great Britain taking part in a programme featuring 12 different sports.
The majority of sports will be held at the University of Bath’s high performance facilities and the University will also provide accommodation and catering during the Games.
Professor Kevin Edge, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath, said the University is delighted to be hosting the four-yearly Games for the first time.
“We’re delighted and proud to be hosting the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games,” he said. “We have a proven track record of hosting major sporting events and we’ve been working closely with the team at Special Olympics GB to ensure the Games are a big success.”
Karen Wallin, Chief Executive Officer of Special Olympics GB, said: “We’re excited to bringing the Games to Bath and to be using the wonderful facilities that the University of Bath has to offer.
“We’re thrilled to be holding our National Summer Games at a venue that is steeped in Olympic and Paralympic history and continues to play a major role in the country’s sport,” she added. “It’s going to be a terrific Game.”
Olympic gold medallist Jason Gardener, who is an Ambassador for the Bath 2013 Games, also attended the official contract signing at the University.
“I’m excited to be involved in what I’m sure will be a fantastic Games,” said Gardener, who trained at the University en route to helping Great Britain to 4x100m relay gold at the Athens 2004 Olympics.
“The University is extremely well established in the delivery of great sporting events and I’m sure it will deliver an even better one this time around.”
The Bath 2013 Games are the ninth Special Olympics GB National Summer Games and the first to be held in Bath. Entry to competitions is free for spectators and members of the public are invited to come along and cheer on the athletes.
In addition to more than 1700 athletes, some 600 coaches, 3000-plus family members and supporters, 500 volunteers and 120 sports officials are due in Bath for the Games.
Nine of the 12 sports on the Bath 2013 programme will take place at the University of Bath – athletics, badminton, boccia, bowls, five-a-side football, artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, table tennis and tennis, with golf, aquatics and ten-pin bowling held at other venues nearby.
The formal signing of the contract between the University of Bath and Special Olympics GB was held to coincide with Special Olympics GB’s Bath 2013 Heads of Delegation Conference in Bath, which gave the team who will be involved in the running of the Games an opportunity to further familiarise themselves with the facilities and receive updates on the Games.
The University of Bath has a proven track record in hosting and organising major sporting events. In 1995 the University of Bath hosted the European Youth Olympic Festival, followed in 2004 by the British University Games. The campus hosted the British Transplant Games in 2006 and 2010 and jointly hosted the UK School Games in 2008.
It is also training base for some of the country’s finest athletes, including London 2012 Olympic medallists Michael Jamieson (swimming) and Samantha Murray (modern pentathlon) and Paralympic athletics medallists Paul Blake, Katrina Hart and Ben Rushgrove, as well as reigning world champions Dai Greene (400m hurdles) and Mhairi Spence (modern pentathlon).
If you would like to be involved in the Bath 2013 Games or come along to support the athletes, you can find more details at http://www.bath2013.org.uk/
NOTES TO MEDIA
University of Bath
The University of Bath is one of the country’s leading universities. This year we have been recognised as third in The Sunday Times University Guide – a clear indicator of its position within the elite universities of the UK.
Named as The Sunday Times University of the Year 2011/12, being ranked as the third all-round top university for 2013 demonstrates our continuing academic excellence.
We came first in three subject areas; Mechanical Engineering, Architecture and Business. Only Oxford and Cambridge have come top in more subject tables.
For further information about the University please see www.bath.ac.uk and for information about sport the University please go to www.teambath.com
Special Olympics GB
Special Olympics GB is the largest registered charity providing year round sports training and competition opportunities for people with intellectual (learning) disabilities.
The National Summer Games will open on Wednesday 28 August, with an opening ceremony and continue until Sunday 1 September 2013. In the region of 1,700 athletes with learning disabilities will take part in the following 12 sports events: Athletics, Artistic Gymnastics, Football, Boccia, Badminton, Short-mat Bowls, Golf, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Table Tennis, Ten Pin Bowling, Tennis and Swimming. It is the showpiece event 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.
Front row: Professor Kevin Edge (Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Bath) and Karen Wallin (Chief Executive Officer, Special Olympics GB). Back row (left to right): Kevin McCormick (Commercial Services Manager, University of Bath), Ron Stewart (Sports Facilities Manager, University of Bath), Jason Gardener (Athens 2004 Olympic gold medallist and an Ambassador for the Bath 2013 National Summer Games).