Rowing the latest sport to join the ‘Special Olympics’

Special Olympics at LYR

On Friday 27th June, 50 learning disabled athletes from the local Special Educational Needs (SEN) schools took part in a rowing showcase as the Special Olympics Great Britain (SOGB) celebrated the newest addition to its sports repertoire.  The competition was held at the London Regatta Centre, hosted by London Youth Rowing, part of the SOGB programme based in Newham.

Newham is one of the five boroughs that will play host to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Bob Billson, SOGB’s Regional Development Manager, was thrilled that the rowing launch was held there.  He said, ‘I think this is a key step in recognising the Special Olympics as part of the overall Olympics movement.  This is a very exciting time for SOGB.’

The event was a celebration of three separate milestones

  • the launch of London Youth Rowing as a new associate programme
  • the introduction of the sport of rowing
  • the 30th anniversary of the SOGB

The following schools took part;  Beal School (Essex), Beckton Post 16 JFK (Newham), Charlton School (Greenwich), Crownwoods School (Eltham), Newbridge School (Redbridge), and Royal Docks Community School (Newham). 

All 50 participants were under the age of sixteen. The athletes enjoyed a series of races held on indoor rowing machines, with medals and rosettes awarded during lunch at the end of the competition.

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