Able Magazine is the official media partner of the Special Olympics GB’s 2018, the largest registered charity providing year-round sports training and competition opportunities for people with intellectual (learning) disabilities in England, Scotland and Wales and was founded in 1978. The Special Olympics GB Anniversary Games will involve approximately 1,400 athletes and 400 coaches and officials, with an estimated 2,500 family members also attending the Games. Access to watch all of the sports will be free to the public.

As well as athletes from all GB regions, a number of European countries will be invited to take part in the Games. The athletes and coaches will be accommodated on campus at the University of Stirling.

All of the sports at the Anniversary Games, other than golf and indoor rink bowls, will be based at the University of Stirling. The schedule includes boccia, badminton, table tennis, football, swimming, athletics and cycling, plus a special ‘Play Unifi ed’ event; for athletes with and without learning disability playing and competing together.


Special Olympics Scotland has announced that Forthbank Stadium, Stirling, managed
by ActiveStirling, set against the backdrop of Stirling Castle, the Wallace Monument and the Ochils, and also the home of – Stirling Albion Football Club – will be the venue for the Opening Ceremony on Thursday 9 August 2018.

Laura Smith, from Special Olympics Scotland and organiser of the Anniversary Games, said: “We are delighted to bring the Special Olympics GB 40th Anniversary Games Opening Ceremony to Forthbank Stadium, Stirling. We look forward to a great night of entertainment and Scottish culture.”

Chief Executive of Active Stirling, Andrew Bain said: “It will be great to see so many athletes from all over Great Britain and Europe enjoying themselves and participating across the 10 disciplines throughout the three days. I wish every athlete the very best of luck and I’m sure there will be lots of personal bests and great memories during these Games.”

Thomas Mann, Operations Manager looking after Stirling Sports Village, said: “We are excited to welcome all the athletes, coaches, family members and spectators to our facilities and hope to showcase Active Stirling as a national leader in sport and physical activity.

Active Stirling is driven by the belief that everyone in the Stirling Council area is entitled to participate in the sport and physical activity of their choice, irrespective of their age, ability or circumstance and we endorse the ‘Play Unified’ focus of the Games, to promote long lasting relationships between disabled and nondisabled people through joint participation.”

Chris Hull of Special Olympics GB said: “We are thrilled that Stirling and its university’s excellent facilities will be hosting our very special Anniversary Games in August 2018. This will not only celebrate our 40th anniversary in Great Britain and 50 years of Special Olympics worldwide but also give over a thousand Special Olympics athletes the chance to compete in a prestigious Games and make new friends and memories.

Stirling Albion’s Forthbank Stadium will act as the perfect stage for the Opening Ceremony to get this sporting celebration, and event of great human endeavour and spirit, started.”

Opening Ceremony tickets went live in May and are available at:

An Awesome Scottish Event

Special Olympics Scotland hope the Games’ international audience will help to showcase Scotland as a vibrant, leading, positive and inclusive country.

They will be targeting young people, using a campaign based around their “Be bold, be kind, be awesome!” message. This helps challenge young people’s perceptions and attitudes towards young people with intellectual (learning) disabilities, creating a more unified next generation.

All sports at the Games will be divisioned to cater for all ability levels, including exclusive lower ability competition in swimming, athletics and multi activity training programme (MATP), enabling very low ability and multi disability athletes to enjoy competing at a high-profile national event.

Also supporting the Anniversary Games is EventScotland. They’re working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors.

Special Olympics GB 40th Anniversary Games hosted by Special Olympics Scotland at Stirling University, 9 – 13 August 2018.

Thursday 9 August – arrival and opening ceremony

Friday 10 August – divisioning and sports competition day 1

Saturday 11 August – sports competition day 2

Sunday 12th August – sports competition day 3 and closing ceremony