Virgin flies athletes to Special Olympics

21st Sep 2007

Virgin Atlantic is an Official Partner of the British Special Olympics team and will be flying the entire team of athletes and coaches to Shanghai from Heathrow on the 26 September for the 12th Special Olympics.  England goalkeeper David James, an Ambassador for Special Olympics GB, will be joining the athletes to offer them advice and support before they take off.

Special Olympics is the world’s largest year-round programme of sports training and competitions for individuals with learning disabilities.  The GB team will be competing against 7000 other athletes from 169 countries around the world this October.  The 159 athletes were selected from over 2500 competitors who competed at the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games in Glasgow in July 2005 and represent each of the organisation’s 19 regions across England, Scotland and Wales. 

Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive Officer for Virgin Atlantic, said:

“Virgin Atlantic is really proud to be an official partner for the GB Special Olympics team.  This is a fantastic opportunity for all of the individuals involved and we are sure they will do Britain proud in Shanghai.  Everyone at the airline wishes the entire team the best of luck for the competition.”

Lawrie McMenemy, MBE, Chairman of Special Olympics GB, also commented:


“The World Games is the pinnacle towards which all of our athletes strive, and is a chance for them to showcase their abilities and talents on a worldwide level, proving that they deserve just as many accolades as other world-class athletes.”

The GB team comprises of 16 squads which include: Aquatics, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Cycling, Equestrian, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Judo, Kayaking, Powerlifting, Sailing, Table Tennis, Ten Pin Bowling and Tennis.


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