Rio 2016 gold medallist, Will Bayley MBE, was the guest of honour as more than 100 people took part in a Special Olympics South Yorkshire (SOSY) sports taster day on Sunday.
The Paralympic table tennis champion gave an exhibition of some of the skills that took him to glory last summer and provided words of encouragement for the adults and children taking part at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
All participants had the opportunity to try table tennis, boccia, football, tennis, athletics, basketball and cricket throughout the day. All activities were delivered by members of the Special Olympics South Yorkshire partnership.
The Special Olympics South Yorkshire Partnership is an accredited network of Special Olympics GB covering Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.
The network is a group of sports clubs and organisations working together to increase participation opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities across South Yorkshire.
“When you first start playing sport it’s really important to just experiment, have fun and enjoy the sport,” Bayley told those attending.
“Sport builds confidence and days like today are fantastic and gets everyone involved.”
Nigel Harrison, CEO of Yorkshire Sport Foundation, the lead organisation it the SOSY partnership said: “The number of people attending the taster day was almost double that of last year which is great to see.
“Hopefully all those attending found a sport that they enjoyed and start to participate on a regular basis to enjoy the benefits of sport and physical activity.”
“It was fantastic to see so many participants getting involved and trying the activities, some for the first time,” said Laura Davies, Special Olympics GB Partnership Manager.
“I hope that everyone enjoyed the activity they tried and will continue to engage in the sports on a regular basis with Special Olympics South Yorkshire.
“A big thank you to all the participants, volunteers, organisers and VIPs that attended, I look forward to seeing you all again in the summer when Special Olympics GB bring the National Summer Games to Sheffield.”