More than 100 competitors take part in unique ‘Olympics’ event in Acton

Gateway Olympics takes place on Acton Playing Fields, near Sudbury. Up to a hundred people with spec

Gateway Olympics takes place on Acton Playing Fields, near Sudbury. Up to a hundred people with special needs are expected to take part in a unique sporting event this weekend. NO NAMES. - Credit: Gregg Brown

More than 100 people with special needs from across Suffolk and Essex competed in an ‘Olympic’ style games tournament at the weekend.

Gateway Olympics - Acton Playing Fields

Gateway Olympics - Acton Playing Fields - Credit: Archant

The ‘Gateway Olympics’ held at Acton Playing Fields near Sudbury on Saturday, saw competitors drawn from Gateway Clubs in Woodbridge, Colchester, Sudbury, Braintree, Haverhill and Dereham to take part in the unique sporting event.

Gateway Clubs are independent local charities that provide social clubs and activities for adults with learning disabilities. The main aim is for people to enjoy themselves in a relaxed atmosphere.

The fun Olympics included adapted versions of curling, hockey, archery and javelin, as well as some less conventional games such as a chariot race, a wet water relay and a ‘horse race’ using large inflatable horses.

A number of community transport groups, including Sudbury’s GoStart, helped to ferry competitors and their families to and from the event.

Gateway Olympics - Acton Playing Fields

Gateway Olympics - Acton Playing Fields - Credit: Archant


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The games began with a procession of competitors, led by the Phoenix Marching Band from Great Cornard who provided entertainment and support throughout the day.

Medals were presented to winners on a specially created podium with music and an ‘Olympic’ style flag in the background.

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John Philips, chairman of Sudbury Gateway Club, said: “The event offers a great opportunity for people to try out some new sports and have fun at the same time.

“The weather was superb and everything went like clockwork. Overall, we had around 150 people there including participants, carers and supporters.

“The members had a great time and are very proud of their achievements. This is a fantastic example of different clubs and transport providers working together to create a memorable day.”

Mr Philips added: “I would really like to thank all of the helpers who turned up to assist on the day and make it such a fantastic occasion.”

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