28 June 2016

Release originally published by Special Olympics Great Britain

Special Olympics GB has announced the Opening Ceremony ticket sale arrangements and entertainment line-up.

Iconic singer Tony Hadley will be headlining the Opening Ceremony on the evening of Tuesday 8 August at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane Stadium.

The show will be hosted by three big-name stars – Downton Abbey’s Jim Carter, Moto GP broadcaster Suzi Perry and football pundit Chris Kamara.

Additional entertainment on the night will be provided by the Rationale Theatre Company and will see local talented Yorkshire-based artists including ‘Under the Stars’, ‘Team Power Stilts’, ‘Aim To Dance’, ‘Kansaze African Dancers’, ‘Chinese Lions Dance’, ‘Team Katalyst’ and the ‘ParaCheer’ cheerleaders.

James Toseland – former double World Superbikes Champion turned rock music artist – will also perform ‘We’ll Stop at Nothing’, the 2017 Official Special Olympics National Summer Games anthem. The song has been released with all profits going to the charity to support athletes with learning disability.

The public can now access tickets to the Opening Ceremony by visiting www.sufc.co.uk/special-olympics, calling 0114 253 7200 (option 1) or in person at the Sheffield United FC Box Office at Bramall Lane.

Turnstiles will open at 3.30pm and the Athlete Parade begins at 5pm followed by the Opening Ceremony Show. The evening concludes around 9pm.

Tickets cost £8 for adults, £6 for over 60s and people with a disability, and £5 for students and under 16s.

The Games are to be held in Sheffield and South Yorkshire this August and will see 2,600 athletes with learning disabilities take part in 20 sports events. This is the tenth National Summer Games and the second time it has been held in Sheffield – the first was in 1993.

Special Olympics GB is the largest registered charity providing year-round sports training and competition opportunities for people with intellectual (learning) disabilities.

This is the largest disability sports event of 2017 and entry is free to the public for all the sporting action.

Special Olympics would like to make special mention to the Arts Council England, Sheffield United Football Club and Bank of America Merrill Lynch for their specific support of the Opening Ceremony.

Karen Wallin, CEO of Special Olympics GB, said: “It is a tremendous line-up that we have with further announcements to come soon. Ticket prices are at a very affordable level to ensure everyone who wants to come to the Opening Ceremony can make it. Tickets prices start at just £5.”

Local Sheffield man Nathan Geering, who has been appointed as Opening Ceremony Artistic Director, commented: “Within this creative brief for Special Olympics GB’s Opening Ceremony, we are celebrating the artistry within athletes and the athleticism within artists.

“We are wanting to transform people’s expectations of what can be achieved by both artists and athletes with learning disabilities.

“The Opening Ceremony will take a unique slant on Olympic events by enhancing them with artistic flair to inspire the nation to not only dream big but to fly high and achieve their dreams.

“We all have the right to love the life we live and to live the life we truly love.

“The Opening Ceremony will be filled with passion, emotion and inspiration to ignite a fire within all of us to achieve greatness.”

For more information about the Special Olympics Great Britain National Summer Games 2017, please visit: www.sheffield2017.org.uk