Brr! You’ve seen the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ – now try the real thing!

Special Olympics GB, the largest charity providing year-round sports training and competition opportunities for people with intellectual (learning) disabilities, is launching the Great Britain Polar Plunge – an exciting and brand new event to the UK to raise vital funds for the charity.

In this country, Special Olympics Great Britain serves over 8,000 registered athletes annually through almost 150 volunteer-led local clubs and 19 regions.  Special Olympics GB is also a registered charity and is supported annually by individual and corporate donations.  Almost 1.2 million people in the UK (2% of the population) have an intellectual disability.

Over 270 Polar Plunge events are hosted by Special Olympics organisations right across America raising $20million annually and often attract celebrities like Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon (pictured). Special Olympics GB is bringing the Polar Plunge to the UK, launching with an initial two events this winter in Bath and London.

Special Olympics GB’s last National Summer Games in 2013 was held in Bath so what better place than the World Heritage City to launch the Great Britain Polar Plunge event series.

Bath Polar Plunge – Saturday 6 December 2014

Special Olympics GB hope to attract over 500 ‘plungers’ to leap into 20 tons of icy cold water in fancy dress, at the University of Bath’s Sports Training Village.  The Village will be fully outfitted to take the edge off the freeze with:

  • Outdoor plunge pool and spectator stand
  • Winter sports demos from Special Olympics GB athletes
  • Hot chocolate and other warming treats and refreshments
  • An indoor paddling pool for the under-12 plungers
  • Live entertainment and musical performances

Plungers will also have use of changing facilities and receive exclusive Plunge souvenirs and prizes for fundraising.

There is a £20 entry fee for adults, £16 for students, £10 for children, and kids under 12 can plunge for free.  The charity is encouraging plungers to set themselves a fundraising target of £50 each to help raise a money to support Special Olympics athletes.

Karen Wallin, Special Olympics GB’s CEO, said: “We are thrilled to be launching the first Great Britain Polar Plunge in Bath.  It’s a vital component of our fund raising effort to support growth of a new local BANES Club and continue to develop skills of our athletes across the UK.”

Great Britain Polar Plunge online is now live and can be found at: where you can find out more and register to take part in Bath.  

The London Polar Plunge will take place in February 2015, with full details set to be announced in early October.

Picture: US talk show host Jimmy Fallon takes the plunge at Special Olympics Michigan’s Polar Plunge. Special Olympics GB are bringing the popular event to this side of the atlantic this October.