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£2m government funding boost for Special Olympics GB

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Special Olympics Great Britain has received a £2m funding boost from the government, which will be used to support a number of sporting initiatives.

The charity, which helps children and adults with intellectual (learning) disabilities take part in year-round sports coaching and competition activities, will use part of the money to send 115 Special Olympics GB athletes to Los Angeles to participate at the World Summer Games later this year. Money will also be put towards the National Summer Games due to be held in Sheffield in 2017.

An estimated 1.5 million people in Britain have an intellectual disability and a disproportionately high (one in three) proportion of these people are obese, meaning the year-round sport opportunities provided by Special Olympics GB are vital for improving health. The charity currently has 150 local clubs that serve 8,000 intellectually disabled athletes, with the help of its dedicated army of 4,000 volunteers across England, Scotland and Wales.

“I’m immensely proud to be supporting Special Olympics GB to actively recruit, inspire and empower people with intellectual disabilities to reach for the finishing line in their favourite sport,” said the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

“Over a million people in the UK have an intellectual disability, and sport is a key component in helping to tackle stigma, improve health and broaden their horizons with new opportunities.”

In addition, the funding will enable the charity to significantly strengthen its current infrastructure, help create new inclusive clubs and develop competition pathways. Special Olympics GB will also launch a new Unified Schools project which will target 25,000 new young participants over the next three years and provide a clear pathway for young people with intellectual disabilities to pursue sporting opportunities after they leave school, ensuring they remain physically active in the future.

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Special Olympics Great Britain has received a £2m funding boost from the government, which will be used to support a number of sporting initiatives.
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The much-needed government funding will support the participation of a number of athletes at this year's World Summer Games / Special Olympics GB