The Special Olympics GB team were given a special send off from London St. Pancras today as they set off to compete in the 2014 European Summer Games in Antwerp, Belgium.
Members of the Eurostar team waved flags to show support for the athletes, set to inspirational music played by a brass quintet from the Royal College of Music.
As the exclusive travel partner, Eurostar carried over 100 athletes, coaches and officials on the 10.58 departure to Brussels, and will be welcoming the athletes back to London on their return journey on the 22nd September. Special Olympics GB is the largest registered charity providing year round sports training and competition opportunities for people with intellectual (learning) disabilities.
Nicolas Petrovic, Eurostar CEO, said:
“We are proud to support the great work of the Special Olympics GB team. In our 20 year history we have carried many sporting teams to major events including bringing the French, Belgian and Dutch national teams to London 2012. We wish the team the best of luck in the Games as they head off on Eurostar from St. Pancras today.”
Special Olympics GB CEO, Karen Wallin, said:
“I would like to thank Eurostar for extending their travel expertise and support to our athletes for the forthcoming European Summer Games in Antwerp. Generous contributions, like this one from Eurostar, help to give our athletes the best possible preparation for one of the highlights of their lives.”
The European Summer Games, a European showpiece event for Special Olympics, will open on 13 September and will run until the closing ceremony on 20 September 2014. In the region of 2,000 athletes with learning disabilities from 58 European countries will take part in the following 10 sports events: Athletics, Artistic Gymnastics, Football, Bocce, Badminton, Basketball, Cycling, Judo, Table Tennis and Swimming.
Almost 1.2 million people in the UK (2% of the population) have an intellectual disability. If you would like to find out more about Special Olympics GB & their European Summer Games team, please visit our website www.specialolympicsgb.org.uk