Hengrove-Park-Pool-Bristol-300x202Special Olympics GB has selected Hengrove Park Leisure Centre in Bristol to host the swimming competition at its 2013 National Summer Games in August.

Nearly 400 swimmers will be ‘going for gold’ in the 50 metre pool at the £30m flagship leisure venue which is operated by Parkwood Community Leisure on behalf of Bristol City Council.

Starting on Wednesday, August 28 with a spectacular opening ceremony, the ninth National Summer Games will involve 1,700 athletes competing in 12 sports over the following three days. This is the first time the Games have been held in the South West and swimming will be the largest of the competitions. The University of Bath will host the majority of other events of the 2013 Games.

Karen Wallin, CEO of Special Olympics GB, said: “I am delighted that we have secured Hengrove to host the swimming events at our National Summer Games.

“It is such a fantastic venue and I know our athletes will feel inspired and excited to be competing in such great facilities.”

The Special Olympics National Summer Games, take place every four years and in addition to swimming, events include athletics, artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, football, badminton, ten-pin bowling and tennis. All events are open to the public and entry is free.

Joanne Martin, sales and marketing director at Parkwood Leisure, said: “We are proud to be associated with the National Summer Games and we’re looking forward to welcoming all the athletes and their families to Hengrove.

“Our 50 metre pool is the perfect choice for a competition of this type as it can be configured for long and short course swimming, providing competitors with a unique aquatic experience.

“We’re confident the South West will do a great job of hosting the games and we know our staff will go the extra mile to ensure participants and spectators have a fantastic experience at Hengrove.”