It’s a debut to remember as Special Olympics athletes make their mark

Oli Minns competing in the men’s long jump. Picture: Michael Lyons

Oli Minns competing in the mens long jump. Picture: Michael Lyons - Credit: Archant

Athletes with learning disabilities celebrated medal success and personal best performances competing for the first time at the Athletics Norfolk's county championships at the weekend.

Lily Edwards taking junior girls' gold in the long jump. Picture: Michael Lyons

Lily Edwards taking junior girls' gold in the long jump. Picture: Michael Lyons - Credit: Archant

Twenty-five athletes – including eight invitees from Suffolk – competed in 18 Special Olympic style events, including races over 50, 100, 200 and 400 metres and long jump and throwing events (softball, javelin and shot put).

Special Olympics Norfolk (SON), which provides support for about 70 sportspeople with learning difficulties, was invited to showcase its members' talents in the track and field championships at the UEA Sportspark alongside events for some of the county's top athletes.

Special Olympics competitors setting personal best performances included Cameron Lain (turbo javelin), Jordan Rednall (softball), and Ricky Brown (junior long jump).

The men's long jump saw all three medal winners jump further than four metres – Joe Silom 4.67m (new PB), Cameron Ross 4.35m and Oli Minns 4.25m.

Joe Silom, left, winning the men's 100m from Cameron Ross and John Young, second right. Picture: Mic

Joe Silom, left, winning the men's 100m from Cameron Ross and John Young, second right. Picture: Michael Lyons - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


Lily Edwards threw the shot 4.02m for junior girls' gold and Lorraine Hood threw the softball 11.56m for the women's gold.

Division One of the men's sprint saw the medals split by a mere half a second, Joe Silom winning gold in 13.5, Cameron Ross silver in 13.9s and John Young, competing for the first time, taking bronze in 14.0.

Most Read

The men's 200m race was equally competitive with Oli Minns winning gold with a time of 27.5s. He went on to take gold in the 400m in a time of 61.7s to finish the day in style.

Nicola Fish, chair of SON, said: 'It was wonderful to be able to showcase our athletes' talents to such a big audience and the support the spectators gave them was fantastic.

Special Olympic Norfolk and Suffolk athletes competing on Sunday at the Athletics Norfolk championsh

Special Olympic Norfolk and Suffolk athletes competing on Sunday at the Athletics Norfolk championships in Norwich. Picture: Michael Lyons - Credit: Archant

'It was a first for us to be involved in a major mainstream athletics event and we hope other sports will offer more inclusive competition in the future.'

SON is sending a team to the Special Olympics national games at Sheffield in August and plans to organise a regional event in 2018 with Athletics Norfolk support.

Special Olympics Norfolk is a county branch of Special Olympics Great Britain – go to www.specialolympicsnorfolk.com for information.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter