Special Olympics GB’s athletes, coaches and team members – in Belgium ahead of tomorrow’s European Games Opening Ceremony – have received the following message from The Prime Minister, David Cameron.

Mr Cameron has said: “You’re about to take part in an extraordinary competition, the Special Olympics European Games.

“I’m sure there are going to be some great performances. You’re going to inspire a whole country; you’re going to change people’s attitudes towards disability, particularly towards intellectual disability, and you’re going to make us all extremely proud.”

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg has added: “Special Olympics GB is an incredible organisation that gives thousands of people the opportunity to learn new skills, make new friends, keep fit and compete for their country.

“The London 2012 Paralympics was a triumph for athletes with physical disabilities and I’m proud that Special Olympics GB is now doing the same for people with intellectual disabilities.


“I wish all the athletes the best of luck for Antwerp and look forward to welcoming many of them to Sheffield where we will be proud hosts of the National Summer Games in 2017.


“You’re not only competing for yourselves, you’re not only competing to make the nation proud, you’re also competing in a way which inspires other people with intellectual disabilities to follow in your footsteps.”

Announcing the host city for the next Special Olympics National Games, the Deputy Prime Minister also added: “I am absolutely delighted that many of you will be competing in 2017 in Sheffield. As you will have seen from the crowds as everybody welcomed the Tour de France, as it sped through Sheffield just a few weeks ago, people in South Yorkshire are absolutely sports mad.

“We’ve got a fantastic set of sporting facilities. I look forward even more to welcoming you and joining in that very special Sheffield and South Yorkshire welcome in 2017.”