University hosts Special Olympics athletes

"We would be honoured to welcome the Special Olympics Games teams back in the future and we hope that their stay with us was enjoyable and memorable.''

Deborah Tilbrook, General Manager for Hospitality

Thousands of Special Olympics athletes, families and staff were hosted by the University in an Olympic Village this week (7 - 12 August 2017).

The University’s Ranmoor and Endcliffe Residences have become the official Olympic Village for the 2017 games, utilising Halifax Hall Hotel and Jonas as accommodation for the visiting officials, accommodating over 3,000 athletes, coaches, carers, officials and volunteers, providing 6,500 meals per day across five dining rooms.

The tenth multi-sports event, which last visited the City in 1993, was focussed on athletes with intellectual disabilities and is the only other games to bear the official Olympic title. The athletes competed at fourteen sporting venues around the city and beyond.

Two team members in wheelchairs visiting the village Two staff members supporting the Special Olympics Two staff members supporting the Olympic Village

Deborah Tilbrook, General Manager for Hospitality, said: “Creating a welcoming environment for all of the athletes, coaches, families and officials involved in these Special Olympics has been a pleasure and privilege.

“The whole team from Accommodation and Commercial Services have taken time out of their usual role to welcome athletes to our accommodation, ensure that the 6,500 meals per day were served quickly and efficiently, and to provide support from being a human signpost to guide people around the village, to sharing the athletes proud moments when they returned in the evening wearing their hard won medals.

We would be honoured to welcome the Special Olympics Games teams back in the future and we hope that their stay with us was enjoyable and memorable.''

The University has worked in collaboration with Sheffield City Council to bring the event to the Sheffield, with the event bringing thousands of visitors to the city and providing a boost to the economy.

The Special Olympics team were impressed by the design of student accommodation - especially the extensive green space, the high quality bedrooms, generously sized and accessible dining areas, wide walkways and an abundance of recreational space for athletes to enjoy.