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GB Squad Announced to Compete in Unified Football at Special Olympics

Special Olympics Great Britain has teamed up with the University of Hertfordshire to bring together six athletes with intellectual disabilities with five current students to form its Unified Football team.

The team will compete at the Berlin 2023 Special Olympics World Games.

Special Olympics GB is the UK’s largest provider of year-round training and competition for children and adults of all abilities with intellectual disabilities.

Unified Football is a concept unique to its global community that sees athletes with and without intellectual disabilities play together on the same team in a 7-a-side format.

Five athletes from the Special Olympics Essex club and one from Special Olympics St Albans will team up with six university students to be part of a delegation of more than 80 athletes with intellectual disabilities who will represent Team Special Olympics Great Britain in 17 sports.

“We’re very grateful to the University of Hertfordshire for partnering and for helping us select our five Unified Partners who complete our squad for the Special Olympics World Games,” said Ben Matthews, Programme Development Manager at Special Olympics GB and Head Coach of the Unified Football Team.

“We want to grow our Unified Sports offering across the country and taking a squad to Berlin 2023 is a great way to increase awareness and hopefully encourage more grassroots football clubs to develop unified teams.

“Ultimately, unified sports are one of the most inclusive sporting opportunities that exist, and they break down barriers and stereotypes, and help more people with and without intellectual disabilities develop friendships. It’s an opportunity that we’re committed to developing across other team sports.”

The Special Olympics World Games opens at the iconic Olympiastadion Berlin on Saturday 17 June, with eight subsequent days of competition before the closing ceremony on Sunday 25 June.

Pictured above, from left to right, are: Back Row: Ben Mathews (Head Coach), Nigel Stuart (Coach), Bradley Stuart, Sam Goldney, Jack Venturini, Al Maxin, Adeyinka Adewale, Sham Motin (Coach) Front Row: Daniel Brathwaite, Harry Camm, Hayden Miller, Daniel Famosa, Charlie Hood

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