Sports and activities for people with special needs

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People with special needs came together for a day of sports and special activities recently.

Haverhill mayor Roger André was present to see off the Haverhill contingent to the Joan Mann Special Sports Day, in its 32nd year the event.

The event brings together people with special needs for a fun day of sports and activities, supported by US servicemen.

Haverhill’s deputy mayor Maureen Byrne, who joined the contingent for the day, said: “The club members see this event as the highlight of their years programme.

“The hospitality at RAF Mildenhall is outstanding and no effort is spared to ensure the full participation of all entrants – whatever their abilities.”

Cllr André said: “Funding from this year’s Big Bash has enabled the LampH committee to fully fund the costs associated with this event.

“The hard work and generosity of local businesses has brought a smile to the faces of the 32 attendees.

“A bright sunny day was the crowning glory.

“The coach driver from Felix Coaches added to the occasion with a chirpy, friendly service ensuring the participants arrived in eager anticipation of the fantastic events.”

Some 32 members and volunteers from LampH were invited to RAF Mildenhall for a 10.30am start.

The day began with a parade of athletes.

Then athletes competed in various events, including a football pass and punt, bowling, frisbee toss, obstacle course, basketball toss and 100-metre dash. Volunteers cooked a lunch of hamburgers and hotdogs, while others escorted the athletes to and from events.

At the end of the day, the winning athletes were given medals.

Plans are already in hand for next years event.

Joan Mann, then a Ministry of Defence employee, conceived the special sports day as a way to offer special-needs people of all ages a day of fun, and also to draw the civilian and military communities closer together.

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (October 24) Echo.