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Special weekend ahead for two sportsmen

Posted onPosted on 12th Mar

Two Mansfield sportsmen will represent the region at a special event to celebrate 400 years since the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth.

The Mayflower was an English ship that transported the first English Pilgrims to the ‘New World’ in the USA — and has become a cultural icon in the history of the United States.

A series of events is being planned to celebrate the landmark voyage — including the Special Olympics Mayflower 400 Commemorative Games.

Matthew Hallam, 27, and Harry Poxon, 16, who are both members of Mansfield Special Olympics, will represent the East Midlands at the games.

They will be playing boccia, one of several sports ­— also including ­badminton, football, table tennis, bowls, tennis, swimming and basketball — that will be played over two full days of competition.

The games, being hosted by Special Olympics Plymouth and District (SOPD) on a date to be set later this year, aim to unite other Special Olympic groups from the USA, the Netherlands and Great Britain.

Matthew trains for boccia with coach Bob Lathbury through Reach Learning Disability. He attends Reach Learning Disability, Mansfield, and Bright Sparks Creative Art, Worksop.

Harry trains for boccia with coach Pete Edwards at Notts Boccia Club. He attends Royal School for Deaf, Derby, and West Nottinghamshire College, Mansfield.

Both are currently training for the games in Chesterfield with the team chosen to represent the East Midlands.
Funding has been provided for both Matthew and Harry from The Armchair Club, a group of businessmen who have been supporting local sportspeople since 1982.

Mansfield Special Olympics meets weekly at Garibaldi College, Forest Town, from 6pm to 7pm on Wednesdays. It provides sports training and competition for people with learning disabilities and their families.

Anyone who would like further information about Mansfield Special Olympics can call Gillian on 079746 50768.