Special Olympics to serve up tennis sessions for young people

Young people with learning disabilities will be able to access weekly tennis sessions thanks to the Special Olympics and the Tennis Foundation.

The Special Olympics aims to get more people with learning disabilities to participate in sport and an arm of the worldwide movement was set up in Swindon in May this year with the help of officers from Swindon Borough Council.

A hugely successful Special Olympics football tournament was held in the town last month and now organisers are hoping a regular tennis session will prove equally as popular with children aged 11 and over.

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The sessions, organised in partnership with Wiltshire LTA, start on Sunday, 15 November at the GLL-run Delta Tennis Centre and will be held every week between 6pm and 7pm.

Taster sessions have already been held for pupils of Uplands School to give a flavour of what the sessions will be like.

Harry Ash, Project Co-ordinator for the Special Olympics Swindon, said: “We are really excited about this new session. The students at Uplands really enjoyed the taster sessions and it will be great to get as many students, from all the schools in Swindon getting involved.”

The Special Olympics has been running in the UK since 1978 as part of the global Special Olympics Movement and has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of people through sport.

There are currently 150 Special Olympics clubs in Great Britain, run by over 4,000 volunteers, and involving 8,000 athletes, from those with low motor abilities to highly skilled athletes.

Cllr Mary Martin, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for sport and leisure, said: “The Special Olympics football tournament last month was a great success and I am thrilled that we have been able to provide opportunities for young people to take part in a variety of sports.

“I would also like to thank all the organisations who have helped to create this tennis programme because without their support initiatives such as this would not be possible.”

Details for the Special Olympics Swindon training sessions can be found at the club’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/specialolympicsswindon.

Alternatively email Harry Ash at: [email protected].