Brighton TTC Success at the Special Olympics GB

Author:
Tim Holtam

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Brighton Table Tennis Club players carry off gold silver and bronze medals at Special Olympics GB.

Brighton Table Tennis Club players won gold, silver and bronze medals in the recent Special Olympics GB National Table Tennis Championships in Crewe.

Abigail Cunningham won all her games in her group to carry off a gold medal, Andrew Tonkin took the silver in his group and Fran Reynolds won bronze in hers.

Bethan Evans, Chris O’Flinn and Harry Fairchild won fourth places in their group. Harry and Andrew were fourth in the doubles while Bethan and Fran came third in their group doubles. It was the first Special Olympics for the ‘Brighton Six’, which makes their achievement even more outstanding.

The players were supported by the Special Olympics Brighton and Hove Branch, which is led by the Grace Eyre Foundation. Special Olympics offers a lifetime of learning through sport to people of all ages and ability levels – from those with low motor abilities to highly skilled athletes.

Special Olympics GB serves 8000 athletes in 150 different clubs across Britain. The Brighton & Hove branch was formed in 2008.

Special Olympics Brighton & Hove chair Gabbi Simmonds: “ This is a brilliant achievement for the players and Brighton Table Tennis Club. In the last three years all the players have improved their performances and become far more confident in their skills and techniques. It was also fantastic to see them integrating and socialising with players from other regions, something which sport and competition is widely known for having the power to do”.

Brighton Table Tennis Club coach Tim Holtam said “Over the past three years we have built a very strong team of Down Syndrome players in our learning disability sessions. We had great fun in Crewe, and the players are now working hard in training for further regional competitions and The National Summer Games in Sheffield 2017.

• Harry Fairchild, Brighton’s national Down Syndrome champion, will attend the British Table Tennis Association for Disabled athletes in June and the Sports Union –Down Syndrome Trisome Games in Florence in July, where more 1000 athletes will compete across seven different sports in the first ever Down Syndrome Olympics.

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