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Two Ipswich badminton players were amongst a group of Suffolk athletes competing recently at the Special Olympics GB National Games as part of the Eastern Region team. The two badminton players joined up with a team of 22 athletes and gymnasts to make up the Suffolk contingent of ‘Team East’ at the games which were held in Sheffield.

‘Special Olympics’ is sport for athletes with an intellectual (learning) disability, the National Games are a multi-sport event held every four years and the highlight of the Special Olympics calendar in this country. The event involved 2,600 athletes competing in 19 sports with the support of over a 1,000 volunteers all cheered on by over 7,000 family and friends throughout the week.

Ipswich pair, Kathy Brill and Cameron Sherman, both competed in the singles competitions where they came up against some very tough, and considerably more experienced opponents from around the UK. On the last day of competition they teamed up to win the silver medal in the mixed doubles event, defeating teams from the South of England and Scotland on their way to the final.

Marilyn Andrews, one of the athletes’ parents said "A massive well done to everyone involved with the Special Olympics in Sheffield. We had a fantastic week watching the badminton and supporting Cameron and Kathy. The spirit at the games was amazing with all of the players cheering and supporting each other. The volunteers deserve a special thank you for giving up their time to help make it a very memorable week for all of us”.

Mike McCarthy from ActivLives and Special Olympics Suffolk said “Winning a medal in their first National Games was an amazing achievement by Kathy and Cameron and is a testament to all of the hard work that they have put in over the last few months. Thank you to all of their local supporters, family and friends who helped to raise the money which has enabled them to compete at this fabulous event. We are all very proud of them both!”

Suffolk badminton players win silver at the Special Olympics