FIVE west Wales athletes will compete at the first ever Special Olympics GB National Winter Games.

The athletes will be competing as part of Special Olympics Great Britain – the UK’s biggest provider of sports training and competition for people with intellectual disabilities.

Tivyside Advertiser: Llinos Gilmore-JonesLlinos Gilmore-Jones (Image: Katz Wizkas)

The five will all be competing in the alpine skiing competition and are: Josh Davies from Trimsaran, Llinos Gilmore-Jones from Llanelli, John Hayes from Llansamlet, Steffan Hopping from Swansea and Lizzie Williams from Burry Port.

The five athletes are included in the 73-person strong squad for Great Britain, competing alongside their fellow athletes from across Wales, England and Scotland to be crowned the first Special Olympics GB National Winter Games champions.

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The competition will support the selection process for the forthcoming Special Olympics World Winter Games to be held in Torino, Italy between March 8-16, 2025. Eight alpine skiers and two figure skaters will represent Team Special Olympics GB in the Special Olympics World Winter Games.

Colin Dyer, Special Olympics GB’s chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to expand our programme of competitions by staging this first National Winter Games.

Tivyside Advertiser: John HayesJohn Hayes (Image: Katz Wizkas)

“Competing in national and international events has proven to be transformational for many of our athletes, inspiring them to develop new life skills and make changes, which support their independence and career.

“We’re incredibly grateful to Special Olympics Grampian club for investing so much time in planning this event, as the host club, and to Inclusive Skating for being our delivery partner on all figure skating events. Special thanks also go to our partners as their funding ensures that out athletes receive a world class sporting experience during this event.”

Tivyside Advertiser: Lizzie WilliamsLizzie Williams (Image: Katz Wizkas)

The games will be taking place in Folgaria, in the northern Italian region of Trentino-Alto Adige/ Südtiro. Special Olympics GB is supported in its delivery of the National Winter Games by The Ski Company and Alpe Cimbra.

The Special Olympics GB National Winter Games will be held from January 27 to February 3.