Special athlete Ricky Brown does Norfolk proud in National Games

A delighted Ricky Brown celebrates winning gold in the 100 metres sprint at the Special Olympics Nat

A delighted Ricky Brown celebrates winning gold in the 100 metres sprint at the Special Olympics National Games. Picture: Michael Lyons - Credit: Archant

Ricky Brown’s beaming smile lit up Sheffield after the Great Yarmouth athlete put in gold and silver medal winning performances at last week’s Special Olympics GB National Games.

Ricky, 22, was part of a 27-member Special Olympics Norfolk squad competing in the Eastern Region team at the four-yearly games for athletes with intellectual disabilities.

His achievement winning gold in the 100 metres sprint and silver in the mini javelin may not have exceeded his own lofty expectations but it delighted coaches, team-mates and supporters, especially his mum and dad, Denise and Michael, who were in Sheffield cheering him on.

Overall, Norfolk athletes brought back 35 medals — 10 gold, 13 silver and 12 bronze — over four days of competition that attracted more than 2,600 competitors from all over the country.

SON chair Nicola Fish said: “Team SON did us proud, from the athletes trying their hardest and having the largest smiles all week to our wonderfully supportive families who spent the week cheering everyone on and the most dedicated, kind bunch of volunteers you could wish to spend time with.”

Ricky, who has autism, ADHD and attachment disorder, became dedicated to athletics after joining SON about three years ago. He also signed up with Great Yarmouth Athletics Club in March this year.

In June, to mark his last day as a student at East Coast College, he headed up a sponsored relay run on Gorleston seafront and raised more than £1,000 towards the cost of sending the Special Olympics team to the games.

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SON is run by volunteers and offers both summer and winter training and competition to around 100 athletes. Unlike Paralympics, which is for elite disabled sportspeople, Special Olympics is for all abilities and ages.

Full results for the National Games are on sheffield2017.org.uk/results. For information on SON at the games visit specialolympicsnorfolk.com