Active Ability supports local athletes to success in regional finals

Published Wednesday, 26th July 2017
Athletes who took part in the Special Olympics regional finals
The four athletes supported by Active Ability at the Regional Finals: Michael Smith (24) of Bramley, Matthew Whitehead of Doncaster, Jamie Lee Jordan (20) of Dinnington and Andrew Renshaw (20) of Kimberworth.

Local athletes came away with a haul of eight medals after successfully competing in the Special Olympic Regional Athletics Finals.

The young adults were all supported by Active Ability – a Sport England funded project which is run through Rotherham Council’s Active Rotherham team.

The finals, which took place last month at Woodbourn Road Stadium in Sheffield, included events such as 100 and 200 metres races, long jump and shot put. There were 165 entries from clubs across the country and a fantastic turn out of volunteers and officials. 

The athletes were representing the South Yorkshire Special Olympic Partnership and for the three Rotherham athletes it was their first ever competition.

George Gauntly, grandad of one of the athletes, Jamie Lee Jordan, said “The day was excellent. I was proud to watch and for my grandson to be part of it; it only encourages them to do more.”

Cllr Taiba Yasseen, Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Working and Cultural Services said: “This event was a great dress rehearsal ready for the national Special Olympics Summer Games in August and I’m delighted that our local athletes did so well with support from the Active Ability team.”

Michala Wild, Active Ability Project Co-ordinator said: “Events like these are very important to our athletes and their families and supporters, not only on a performance and competition level but also on a personal and social level. The athletes were part of a small team from the local area but became part of a much larger national community striving for the same common goal to be able to participate, enjoy and achieve.”

Pete Moore, Active Ability athletics coach, added: “The outstanding performances at the recent event demonstrate how the hard work and determination of the athletes and the help and support of the Active Ability programme and Rotherham Harriers Athletics Club has worked and resulted in the athletes’ wonderful achievements.”

The group currently trains at Herringthorpe Stadium on Wednesdays from 5:00 - 6:00pm and are always looking for new people to join. Contact the Active Rotherham team for more information.

The Special Olympics Great Britain National Summer Games, which opens in Sheffield on Monday 7 August, will see athletes from all over the country compete in a variety of events from athletics and cycling to gymnastics and sailing. 

Two of the categories will take place in Rotherham – the equestrian events at Aston’s Parklands riding centre, and golf at Rother Valley Golf Centre, Wales Bar.  

Find out more about the Special Olympic Summer Gamesimage

Find out more about Active Ability

Call the Active Rotherham team on 01709 363355image