A FOOTBALL team from Skelmersdale is set to be part of the British team in the Special Olympics for athletes with learning difficulties.
The Skem Men-Aces squad, now based at The Stanley in Upholland, only learned the news last week from manager Carl Eaton.
He told the Advertiser: “Over the last year myself and the coaches have been in endless meetings, representatives from London have visited several times, countless forms have been filled in and finally, after many months, we have reached our goal.
“We have now become members of Special Olympics GB and are also now a registered charity with Olympics GB.”
Carl added: “The Special Olympics is regarded as the world’s biggest sports body for people with learning disabilities and the Skem Men-Aces will represent the North West under the name of Special Olympics Skelmersdale.
“This is the proudest moment of our three year existence and the lads will wear their Olympic kit with so much pride. They will be involved with competitive football the length and breadth of Britain.”
To prepare for the event, the Men-Aces have been invited to the national games in Bath in August, held over five days with impressive open and closing ceremonies.
Eight athletes and two coaches are eligible to attend, at a cost of £500 per person.
Carl continued: “While it will be very difficult to only be able to pick eight lads, every other player on our squad has been accepted with the Special Olympics, meaning they will have plenty of opportunities to compete at the highest level.
“As we have been asked to compete in Bath this will also put us forward for nomination to compete in the games in Antwerp and also the world games in LA.
“The amount of work to get this far has been tough to say the least but most rewarding and we would like to thank the Skelmersdale community for their ongoing support.”
The club will now be holding fundraising events to help get them minibus travel around the UK.
Anyone who is able to donate raffle prizes or unwanted gifts to the stall the club regularly runs is asked to contact Carl on firstname.lastname@example.org