Leeds students all set for the Special Olympics

Pupils from West SILC Farnley Partnership, are to take part in the Special Olympics National Games in Sheffied. From left, Oliver Court, Ellie Mae Potter, Bailey Forsyth, Jack Mangan, Millie Baird Blackburn, Ellie Cole and Reece Wallace. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Pupils from West SILC Farnley Partnership, are to take part in the Special Olympics National Games in Sheffied. From left, Oliver Court, Ellie Mae Potter, Bailey Forsyth, Jack Mangan, Millie Baird Blackburn, Ellie Cole and Reece Wallace. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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A group of students who have complex physical, medical and learning disabilities from Leeds are to take part in a new sports event at a national games.

Eight people from the West SILC (Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre) Farnley Partnership will head to the Special Olympics in Sheffield on August 8 and 9.

Lead teacher Sarah Riley said that this is the first time there has been a formal event at the games for people with such high levels of intellectual disability, which includes students who have severe or profound limitations.

They will take part in the Motor Activity Training Program, which is designed for athletes who are unable to participate in other Special Olympics competitions because of their skill and/or functional abilities.

Ms Riley said: “It’s absolutely massive for us and our families. Their parents have been doing fundraising.

“Between the eight children they have raised £1,700 to pay for the hotel to go to the opening ceremony.”

Students which will attend the games include: Oliver Court, 17; Millie Baird-Blackburn, 15; Reece Wallace, 16; and Bailey Forsyth, 13.

Ellie-Mae Potter, eight; Ellie Cole, 11; Jack Mangan, nine; and Reio Nandra, 18, will also compete.

Each student has their own challenge they have been working on that they will take part in during the event.

These include “grasp and release” tests such as dropping a ball into a container, or rolling a ball to a specific point.

Ms Riley said: “We are very excited to be representing Yorkshire and Humberside.”

Tony Hadley, who rose to fame as singer with the 1980s pop group Spandau Ballet, will perform at the opening ceremony of the games at Bramall Lane Stadium.

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. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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