William and Cameron two people we support from York have won gold and silver medals at this year’s Special Olympics, the country’s largest disability multi-sport event this year.

This follows on from the success of Sarah Davies, a bowler from Ellesmere Port who also won gold. We find out a little bit about how they prepared, and how they’re feeling about their achievements.

 

“It was very hard work”

Swimmer William Scrope won two golds and a silver. He trained three times a week in the run up to the event, held in Sheffield between 7-12 August 2017. “It was very hard work, but it was worth it,” he says.

 

Tennis player Cameron Long, who used to be a swimmer, won a gold and a silver. “I was really pleased to be on the TV,” he says, enjoying his time in the spotlight.

 

The athletes – who both also represent Great Britain – brought their medals in to show their friends at the Boot Shop, a United Response day service and social enterprise based in Easingwold, near York. Everyone was really keen to see them, and celebrated their success.

 

“I thought, ‘I can’t do that!’”

Julia Richardson, Service Manager at the Boot Shop, was proud of the two men for their achievements. “There was an underwater shot of Will that was just out of this world – and I thought, ‘I can't do that!’ It’s a different level.” She hopes the Special Olympics will change attitudes towards people with learning disabilities. “It’s really showed people what they're capable of.”

 

William’s mum and dad are trying to get more people with learning disabilities to take part in sport. The York area in particular is short of swimmers who are looking to compete, although they stress that people of all levels can get involved. “People just need to be enthusiastic and put the effort in to train.”

 

Bright futures

Speaking of their preparation before the event, Julia tells us about their attitudes towards training. “It isn’t just something they do when they feel like it – they’re both very committed. They’re practising all the time and they’re competing all the time. They’ve had to work really hard.”

 

It’s clear that both athletes have very bright futures ahead of them, and with the right amount of determination, there’s no limit to what they can achieve.

 

Find out more about the Boot Shop

Bowler wins gold at the Special Olympics