Reception honours St Albans’ Special Olympians
PUBLISHED: 09:05 21 April 2019
A reception was held for seven Special Olympics athletes who train in St Albans after they won 12 medals at the World Games.
Mayor of St Albans Cllr Rosemary Farmer met the athletes, known as the Magnificent Seven, for a reception at the Assembly Rooms of the St Albans Museum + Gallery on Wednesday, April 10.
The St Albans branch of the Special Olympics has 150 members, who train at venues around St Albans and Harpenden, including Oaklands College. The UK sent 128 athletes to the Special Olympics World Games, which were held in Abu Dhabi from March 14 to 21.
The seven athletes from the district took home nine gold medals and three silver medals between them.
These included Lucy Warne and Thomas Miller, who both won two equestrian golds and one silver, Tom Ward, who won a football gold, Skye Westwood, who won a gold for Judo, and swimmer Philip Nicholls, who won a gold for relay and a silver for 25-metre breaststroke.
Damir Davies and Daniel Bernard each received a gold as part of the GB basketball team which beat the USA in the final.
As well as meeting the athletes, Cllr Farmer also met Special Olympics football coach Liam Dwyer, badminton and tennis coach Nikhil Shah and basketball coach Simon Jackson-Turner.
She said: “This was one of the highlights of my year in office. It was an absolute privilege to meet these athletes who have done so well together with their dedicated coaches.
“I told them that the whole District can take great pride in their achievements and will be very impressed with the huge effort they put into their sports.
“For many of the athletes, it was the first time away from home without their families, so it was quite challenge for them as well as an unforgettable cultural and sporting experience.
“Special Olympics is an excellent charity and is doing outstanding work in the St Albans District.
“I would urge anyone interested in supporting them to do so by, for example, volunteering or making a donation.”
The Special Olympics World Games are held every four years, with 7,500 athletes taking part from 200 countries. The Special Olympics charity provides sports training to children and adults with learning disabilities.