Swim and gym success for Norfolk Special Olympics athletes

Swimmers and gymnasts from Special Olympics Norfolk have returned from recent competitions weighed down with a veritable glut of gold, silver and bronze medals.

Four gymnasts took part in a recent Special Olympics Suffolk Waveney Open Gymnastics Competition at Waveney Gymnastics Club in Lowestoft. Both Norwich-based Shane Baxter and Mary Jane Kitching from Newton Flotman won gold in each of their events, notching six and four gold medals respectively.

Evie Rodwell of Diss, facing stiff competition, claimed two golds and two silvers, while Alex Eley from Harleston took home a silver and three bronze medals. The Special Olympics gymnasts train with the Long Stratton Gymnastics Club under the skilled coaching of Alf Dyer, Tina Wenden and Natasha Pretty.

In the pool, a team of six swimmers performed heroically at the recent Thetford Lions Disabled Swimming Gala. The team, coached by Raphael Sanelli, comprised Natasha Burrows (Attleborough), Christopher Spinks (Hethersett), Lydia Browne (Attleborough), Keziah Baxter (Norwich), Shane Baxter (Norwich) and Katherine Russell (Hethersett). 

It was the first competition for the newly formed Special Olympics Norfolk team, with every single swimmer notching at least one medal in a haul of three golds, three silvers and three bronzes.

Special Olympics volunteer Nicola Baxter, mother of Kizzy and Shane who competed in both events, commented: "We are all very proud of both the gymnasts and the swimmers who have been training hard for these events. Special Olympics gives training and competition opportunities to people with intellectual disabilities no matter what level of skill they start with. The athletes gain so much in self confidence, fitness and friendship but winning medals is always a highlight."

Special Olympics Norfolk runs a range of sports for people with intellectual disability across the county, including skiing, swimming, gymnastics, athletics, tennis, cricket and boccia. 

For more information about competing or volunteering contact Linda Shiner on 07415894700 or visit Special Olympics Norfolk's Facebook page.

 
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