Wakefield Hockey Club athletes invited to meet Rishi Sunak following Special Olympics success
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Athletes Rob Crosse, Brooke Lammas and Thomas Shaw were part of the first ever Team Special Olympics Great Britain hockey team which won gold at Berlin 2023 by beating Bulgaria in the final.
Alongside coaches Jayne Cross and Lochlann Kaye, they reunited with fellow athletes, volunteer coaches, parents and Team Special Olympics GB supporters for a garden party celebration at 10 Downing Street.
Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said: “The strength and ability of these athletes is inspiring, and I am proud that No.10 hosted Team GB as we celebrate their incredible success at the recent Special Olympics World Games in Berlin.
“Sport is one of the best ways to bring people together – breaking down barriers to opportunity, building relationships and growing confidence - and the work of the Special Olympics Committee and Special Olympics GB is making a huge difference.”
Team Special Olympics GB athletes won a haul of 137 medals and 47 ribbons at Berlin 2023 in 17 of the 26 sporting competitions that were staged across the city during June. As the biggest inclusive sporting event of 2023, more than 7,000 international athletes with intellectual disabilities participated over the nine days of competition.
Laura Baxter MBE, Strategic Director of Growth & Legacy at Special Olympics GB, said: “Being invited to 10 Downing Street is a fantastic gesture by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and demonstrates just how highly valued our athletes’ achievements are across the country.
“Each athlete has overcome adversity to represent their nation on the world stage and they have made memories that will last a lifetime. As well as helping these Team Special Olympics GB athletes build on this experience, we want to use the power of sport to support many more children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
“There are currently 94 sporting clubs accredited to Special Olympics GB across England, Scotland and Wales and, with the support of our volunteers, we want to grow this number further and provide many more opportunities for people to participate.”