Liverpool is to host the Special Olympics GB Summer Games 2021 – the biggest multi-sport tournament the city has ever staged.

Special Olympics Great Britain has confirmed its 2021 National Summer Games – the 11th in history of the organisation – will be held in Liverpool from Tuesday 3 August until Saturday 7 August 2021.

This will be the first time that the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games have been held in Liverpool city centre – although Knowsley in Merseyside did host the first ever Games in 1982.

Venues for the Games will include Greenbank Sports Academy, Wavertree Athletics Village and ACC Liverpool – all helping to host the UK’s biggest disability sports event in 2021.


Spectacular opening and closing ceremonies at Sefton Park and Echo Arena Liverpool will be part of a wider cultural programme for the Games – with a major legacy plan set to include an annual festival and a new Intellectual Disability Forum.

Over 2,000 athletes will take part in a wide range of sports including athletics, boccia, football, gymnastics, swimming, and the motor activities training programme for people with multiple cognitive disabilities, subject to confirmation.

The event is another huge sporting coup for Liverpool as the city prepares to host a raft of major events such as the Netball World Cup in 2019 and the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in 2022.

SOGB’s Chris Hull said: “Special Olympics GB helps to transform and improve the quality of the lives of people with intellectual (learning) disabilities and their families and communities through the power of sport.

Sport is something that the World loves and helps to connect our athletes with Society. People with learning disability love sport, too – and the people of Liverpool are well known, not only for their warmth, but also their love of sport.

So, we are absolutely delighted that Liverpool has been selected to host the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games in two years’ time. Liverpool is a great, diverse, inclusive sporting city, as well as being home to the sort of world-leading venues that befit a highly prestigious event such as this.

The economic benefit of hosting our National Games in Sheffield in 2017 was over £3.2m and we hope that Liverpool will enjoy similar benefits in addition to the magical and priceless atmosphere this Special Olympics event will create.”