The largest sports event in Great Britain for people with learning disabilities will commence in Sheffield on Monday.

The Special Olympics heads to Sheffield for the second time in its history and the city will welcome 2,600 athletes from all across Great Britain.

Festivities for the event kicked off on the 27th July with the ‘Flame of Hope’ being lit at Much Wenlock. It will travel 200 miles and appear in 10 towns before it reaches Bramall Lane, the home of Sheffield United, for the opening ceremony on the 8th August.

Singer Tony Hadley will headline the event with special guest stars Chris Kamara, Jim Carter and Suzi Perry hosting the opening ceremony. The games’ anthem, ‘We’ll Stop at Nothing’, will also be performed by James Toseland.

Before the opening ceremony kicks off, however the athletes, who just arrived today, will be registered into their respective events.

After this, three days of competition will get underway where 11 venues across Sheffield will host 20 events.

The English Institute of Sport, which played host to Sheffield Varsity earlier in the year, will once again open its doors to a competitive event as it hosts a number of event including badminton, gymnastics, judo and table tennis.

Other Varsity venues are also being used to host events, with Hallam Sports Park welcoming the football, Ponds Forge hosting the aquatics and Ice Sheffield also acting as a venue for the gymnastics.

The complete list of venues include: Parklands Equestrian, Hallam Athletic Centre, Doncaster Indoor Bowls, Graves Health and Sports Centre, Forge Valley Community School, Rother Valley Golf Centre and All Saints Sports Centre.

The last day of competition will be the 11th August, with the athletes departing for their home cities the day after.

This will be the second time Sheffield will host the competition, the first time being in 1993. The 2017 games will signal the tenth Special Olympics since its inception in 1982 where Liverpool hosted the competition. Bath held the last games in 2013.

Tickets are available for the event and can be found at the games’ website: http://sheffield2017.org.uk/

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