Special Olympics: Sheffield is 'Outdoor City for all', says council

Sheffield Council says the Outdoor City is for all. Photo: Gemma Thorpe

Sheffield Council says the Outdoor City is for all. Photo: Gemma Thorpe

0
Have your say

With Special Olympics athletes preparing for the UK National Games in Sheffield this summer, the city council has highlighted the outdoor options disabled people can enjoy.

About 2,600 athletes will travel to the city in August to compete in 20 sports across 12 venues.

The council, working with Disability Sheffield and Accessible Derbyshire, has pulled together a list of ‘must visit’ destinations for people of all abilities, including Damflask Reservoir, Endcliffe Park, Millhouses Park and Manor Fields Park.

The authority hopes to promote the city's outdoor activities to Games visitors, as well as to Sheffield people.

Andrew Crooks, an engagement and development worker at Disability Sheffield and wheelchair user, said: “Sheffield’s a great place. The countryside’s so nearby and Millhouses Park is definitely one of my favourite spots.

“People might think that having a wheelchair is a barrier to getting out and about but it can give you a new lease of life when you get the right chair. And with a bit of creativity, most of the barriers can be removed.

A Special Olympics banner is unveiled opposite the railway station.

A Special Olympics banner is unveiled opposite the railway station.

“Obviously there are issues like gates and graded steps, and getting from the road to the car park can be a problem. But some of Sheffield’s parks and countryside are really accessible.”

Specialist groups to help people with disabilities enjoy the outdoors include a walking group for visually impaired people, cycle hire of specially adapted bikes, disabled fishing groups and horse riding for disabled people.

The council's cabinet member for culture, leisure and parks Mary Lea said: “Sheffield is hosting the 2017 Special Olympics for people with learning disabilities and we want people to know that we’re an inclusive city and have something for everyone.

“When we say we’re The Outdoor City we mean it. There are lots of opportunities for disabled people in and around Sheffield, including beautiful, wheelchair accessible routes.

Members of Sheffield's visually impaired walking group.

Members of Sheffield's visually impaired walking group.

“We want to help raise the profile of these so more people can enjoy everything that our amazing outdoors has to offer.”

The Games will begin on August 7, with an opening ceremony at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane stadium the following day, and will run until August 11.

Chris Hull from Special Olympics GB said: “Sheffield’s a great sporting city and 2,600 athletes, with around 5,000 families and friends, are thrilled and excited about coming to Sheffield.

“In addition to watching the athletes, many of those family members, friends and supporters are already starting to look at this fabulous outdoor city and things to do while they are here.

Sheffield-based basketball player Luke Wan and athlete Bethan Morgan will compete in the 2017 Special Olympics GB National Games, which will take place in Sheffield in August.

Sheffield-based basketball player Luke Wan and athlete Bethan Morgan will compete in the 2017 Special Olympics GB National Games, which will take place in Sheffield in August.

" I am sure they will be fascinated by the plentiful parks, woods and countryside in such close proximity to this wonderful green city.”

Visit theoutdoorcity.co.uk/outdoor-city-for-all/ for the list of must-visit destinations and information about specialist groups.

Today’s top stories:

'Disappointed' inspectors tell South Yorkshire Police it must improve

Snow leads to closure of Snake Pass

Artist creates incredible mural in Upperthorpe to honour Sheffield shooting victim

Members of Sheffield's visually impaired walking group.

Members of Sheffield's visually impaired walking group.

School pupils put themselves in picture as new Sheffield art exhibition is unveiled

School pupils put themselves in picture as new Sheffield art exhibition is unveiled

Majority of Sheffield children get preferred secondary school place

Man denies ever meeting three Sheffield girls he is accused of raping

Sheffield building firm with huge bill over fly-tipping

Get all the latest Owls stats

Get all the latest Blades stats