Special Olympics Great Britain is delighted to announce that Nick Matthew – three-time World Squash Champion and resident of Sheffield – is to be a new Ambassador for the charity’s National Games in Sheffield this summer.




Nick commented: “”I’m very proud to be an Ambassador for the 2017 Special Olympics GB National Summer Games being held in my home city of Sheffield this summer.

“I know it will be an unforgettable experience for everyone involved and will hopefully inspire people of all abilities to make sport a part of their lives.”

Special Olympics GB’s tenth National Summer Games will be held for the second time in Sheffield – the first time was back in the steel city in 1993.  This is the largest disability sports event of 2017 and entry is free to the public for all sporting action.  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 Tuesday 8th August – with a spectacular opening ceremony at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane – and will continue with four days of sport.  It is the showpiece event every four years for the organisation and its athletes.  Almost 1.5 million people in the UK (2% of the population) have an intellectual disability.


The public can buy tickets for the Opening Ceremony on Tuesday 8 August at Bramall Lane now online at


 or 01142537200 – option 1

 or at the Sheffield United FC Box Office in person.


Tony Hadley, James Toseland, Chris Kamara, Downton Abbey’s Jim Carter, Suzi Perry and many other acts will be performing.  Tickets start at £5.

Special Olympics GB provides year-round sports coaching and events for people with intellectual disabilities.  Special Olympics GB’s National Games is the largest sports disability event in 2017 and will see 2,600 athletes compete across over a dozen venues in 20 sports in August in the steel city.  Special Olympics Great Britain’s sports training and competition across England, Scotland and Wales positively changes the quality of life for their 10,000 registered athletes.  Almost 1.5 million people in Great Britain (2% of the population) have intellectual disabilities.

A list of the 20 sports at Special Olympics 2017 National Games include:

Football (Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park – SHUSP), Athletics (Sheffield Hallam University City Athletics Centre – SHUCAS), Swimming (Ponds Forge International Sports Centre), Boccia (Ponds Forge International Sports Centre), Badminton (English Institute of Sport Sheffield – EISS), Table Tennis (English Institute of Sport Sheffield – EISS), Judo (English Institute of Sport Sheffield – EISS), Young Athletes ‘Come & Try’ (English Institute of Sport Sheffield – EISS), Powerlifting (Forge Valley Community School), MATP (English Institute of Sport Sheffield – EISS), Gym Rhythmic (Ice Sheffield), Gym Artistic (Ice Sheffield), Golf (Rother Valley Golf Club), Sailing (Pugneys Watersports Centre & Country Park), Basketball (All Saints Sports Centre), Netball (All Saints Sports Centre), Short Mat Bowls (Graves Health and Sports Centre), Tennis (Graves Health and Sports Centre), Ten Pin Bowling (Hollywood Bowl), Cycling (Forge Valley Community School), Equestrian (Parklands Equestrian Centre), Indoor Bowls (Doncaster Indoor Bowls Club).  For more information about the Special Olympics Great Britain National Summer Games 2017, please visit: http://www.sheffield2017.org.uk


  • Special Olympics GB showpiece event held every 4 years
  • The  largest disability sports event in Great Britain in 2017
  • 2,600 athletes
  • 4 days of competition
  • 800 coaches
  • 1,000 volunteers
  • 150 officials
  • 7,000 plus family & friends


Why Are The Games Important?

  • The Games gives athletes with an intellectual (learning) disability the opportunity to achieve and to demonstrate their abilities to the community.
  • The event will attract athletes with intellectual (learning) disabilities from across England, Scotland and Wales.
  • Through participation in this large national competition, people with an intellectual (learning) disability will acquire the confidence and social and life skills that will help their inclusion in society.
  • The games offer people the opportunity to give back to the community and make a difference when coaching, officiating and volunteering at the event.

Special Olympics GB is the largest provider of a year-round, all ability, sports programme in Great Britain and supports over 10,000 athletes with intellectual (learning) disabilities on a continued basis.

Across England, Scotland and Wales, approximately 27,000 regular sports coaching sessions of at least 1 hour each, are delivered locally each year by 140 accredited programmes across 28 different sports.

This coaching activity leads to an annual average of 100 all ability, inclusive sports competitions. Its competition pathways make Special Olympics Great Britain unique within the disability sports sector as it provides, for athletes of all abilities, opportunities to compete and progress at local, regional, national and international levels.  This extensive programme is led by over 4,000 dedicated volunteers in a variety of sports coaching, administrative, event, logistic, fundraising and supporting roles.

For our athletes, excellence is personal achievement, a reflection of reaching one’s maximum potential – it is a goal to which everyone can aspire.

For those Special Olympics athletes who attain an elite level in their sport, we signpost and support a pathway into Paralympics and other elite competitions.