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Special Olympics

Front l-r, James Wright (Special Olympian), Miles Middleton (Special Olympian), Ricky Plampied (Special Olympian), Lee Penfold (Special Olympian), Trish Branson, (Leicester City Council), Donna Bishop. Back row l-r Steve White (Leicester Cultural Partnership) and Steve Humphries (Leicester City Council).

University of Leicester Helps to Make Special Olympic History

Leicester is celebrating after the announcement that the Special Olympics have chosen the city to host its 2009 National Summer Games for a monumental second time.

The announcement was made by Chris Hooper, CEO - Special Olympics GB on 13th July 2007 at a special press conference held at the city’s Town Hall.

The city, which beat Southampton to win the honour, will welcome more than 2,500 athletes with learning disabilities competing in more than 21 sports over a period of eight days.

Lawrie McMenemy MBE, Chairman of Special Olympics GB, said: “On behalf of the Special Olympics GB Board of Directors, I am delighted to award the National Summer Games 2009 to the City of Leicester.

“The people of the city proved 20 years ago what great hosts they are for our event – and in the years since, Leicester has continued to provide opportunities to athletes with learning disabilities. Its central location and the terrific sports facilities in the area will, I am sure, mean a well-run and most enjoyable event for everyone.”

Trevor Miller, Conference and Hospitality Sales and Marketing Manager of the University of Leicester attended the press conference and read a statement on behalf of Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Burgess who was presiding over the University’s degree ceremonies.

“The University is delighted to be a major partner in Leicester’s bid to stage the National 2009 Special Olympics. Sport has long been associated with Leicester and the University has many links with local clubs and sports associations. We believe it is important for everyone to have the chance to participate in a wide range of sporting activities and for people with learning disabilities to be empowered to achieve at a personal level in major competitions. Hosting this event will be a defining moment for the City and its partner institutions, including the University.”

The athletes will once again be hosted in the University’s Halls of Residence in Oadby and near the city campus. Trevor Miller added “many of our longstanding members of staff fondly remember 1989 when the University provided accommodation and other facilities for the games. It will be a great pleasure to welcome the Special Olympics back to Leicester in 2009.”

Contact Details:

Mr Trevor Miller, Leicester Conferences, University of Leicester Conference Office, Stamford Hall Stoughton Drive South, Leicester. LE2 2ND. Tel: 0116 271 9933 Fax: 0116 221 2053 Email: conferences@le.ac.uk

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