Great Britain: Hockey ID team come away with a silver medal at the Dutch Special Olympics National Games

Over the weekend, a group of players attended the Dutch Special Olympics (SO) National Games which were held in Breda & Tilburg. The national games are held every other year and the GB team were invited two years ago. This weekend saw all Dutch regions represented by SO hockey clubs, with the event also welcoming countries such as Germany, Ireland, Belgium, Czech Republic and Bulgaria. The tournament marked exactly a year since GBR went to Berlin as part of the GBR Special Olympics team; although the team has changed, the inclusive nature of SO remains a key driver for people with Learning Disabilities.

Players included

Craig Williamson – Beacon

Jason Nicholls – Harborne flyerz

Reece Brackpool – Harborne flyerz

Jordan Chandler – Harborne Flyerz

Rob Crosse – Wakefield

Thomas Shaw – Wakefield

Mudassar Ahmed – Forest Flyerz

Shane Crowe – Forest Flyerz (GK)

Oliver White – Tunbridge Wells

The morning started by checking that all teams were in the correct category, before finding out the team would face Belgium, Bulgaria and a regional team called Almere in their group. GB drew 3-3 vs Bulgaria, 4-4 with Almere and on Sunday produced the result of the tournament with a 4-1 win against favourites Belgium, taking the team to the gold medal play off against Belgium.

The final was a very tight game where the team unfortunately lost 2-0, despite hitting the post and creating many scoring opportunities. The players all equipped themselves incredibly well in winter like conditions (even though it was June) to come away with a silver medal.

GB Hockey is happy that we can provide these opportunities to people with learning disabilities to travel, meet other teams, players and represent not only their country but be included by their clubs on a regular basis.

Oli White from Tunbridge who had the honour of being captain had a great tournament and embraced the spirit of the Special Olympics, as well as finishing top scorer with 7 goals; other scorers were Thomas Shaw, Rob Crosse and Craig Williamson.

A huge thank you to Volunteers Jayne Crosse and Lochlann Kaye (from Wakefield Flyerz) who provided brilliant support for the squad all weekend.

by Great Britain Hockey

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