Sheffield to host National Summer Games in 2017

Generic swimming race Competitors will use the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre for some of the events

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The city of Sheffield is to host the National Summer Games for athletes with learning disabilities in 2017.

The city council said it expected 2,000 competitors at the event, which will take place from 7-11 August.

Venues for the competition will include the Ponds Forge centre, Sheffield Hallam University athletics stadium and the English Institute of Sport.

Organisers of the games said the economic benefit for the city would be "significant".

A city council spokeswoman said Special Olympics GB, the charity that provides sports training and competitions for people with learning disabilities, was "delighted" the game were being held in the city.

The National Summer Games event is held every four years, with the 2013 event having been staged in Bath.

'Highly prestigious'

Last year Sheffield City Council closed Don Valley Stadium, the 25,000-seater arena built to host the 1991 World Student Games at which Olympic champion heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill trained, in a money-saving move. Demolition work started in November and plans for a college to be built on the site were approved this week.

The Sheffield Hallam University City Athletics Stadium, which has a much smaller capacity, was identified as its "replacement" and will be used for the National Summer Games.

But Julie Dore, leader of the city council, insisted: "From world-class venues such as the English Institute of Sport Sheffield and Ponds Forge, to the award-winning Hillsborough Leisure Centre, Sheffield really does have it all.

"I am absolutely delighted that Sheffield has been selected to host the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games in three years' time.

"The decision is testament to the fact that Sheffield is a great sporting city, home to the sort of world-leading venues that befit a highly prestigious event such as this."

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