Sheffield United will welcome the athletes from Sheffield's Special Olympics squad on Saturday (17th September) at the Peterborough United game.
Prior to the game, members of the squad, their coaches and families, will undertake a bucket collection around the stadium to help raise funds to enable the athletes to take part in the Special Olympics when the event is held in Sheffield in August 2017.
At half-time the squad, which has now entered its final year of preparation for the Olympics, will acknowledge Blades fans during a walk around the pitch. The Opening Ceremony for the event will take place on August 8 at Bramall Lane
Blades Operations Director Dave McCarthy said ''We are really looking forward to hosting our local athletes and allowing them to get a taste of the atmosphere here at Bramall Lane, something they will experience next August at the Opening Ceremony. I hope our supporters will give them a great round of applause and give generously when they see the collection buckets as they arrive at the stadium."
Karen Wallin, CEO of Special Olympics GB, said: "We are thrilled that Sheffield United have designated this weekend's League match to our Special Olympics Sheffield club. We are honoured to partner with them as hosts of the Opening Ceremony at Bramall Lane for our National Games in August 2017 in Sheffield. No fewer than 2,600 athletes with learning disabilities will be displaying their skills and talents across the city in 20 different sports - with Bramall Lane setting the tone for the week-long event."
Phil Morgan, Chairman of the Special Olympics Sheffield, said: "Recently our athletes have represented Sheffield and Yorkshire in events all around the country and represented Great Britain in competitions in Belgium, Cyprus, Spain and Los Angeles. The National Games in Sheffield next year will give our athletes the opportunity to perform in front of their fellow citizens and will start in the best possible way with the opening ceremony in Bramall Lane. Our athletes are training hard to do Sheffield proud."