Local Weightlifting and Powerlifting coach Simon Roach has been named in the Special Olympics Great Britain coaching team that will travel to Berlin in June to support its athletes at the Special Olympics World Games.

Simon, who lives in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, has been appointed as Head Coach of the Powerlifting team in a voluntary role that ensures that the two athletes with intellectual disabilities can represent Team Special Olympics GB at the World Summer Games.

Simon has a wealth of experience of coaching at the highest level. He has coached for many years at National and International Weightlifting competitions, including six Commonwealth Games for Team Wales, with the first being in 1998 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Opening at the iconic Olympiastadion Berlin on 17 June, the Special Olympics World Games is the world’s biggest inclusive sporting event of 2023 with 7,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities from around the world set to compete across 26 sports.

It is a great honour to be selected for Team Special Olympics GB. I am looking forward to supporting the Powerlifting athletes in their build up and throughout the competitive period of this prestigious World Games at Berlin.

At the end of last year, Team Special Olympics GB named a squad of more than 80 athletes from across the country who will take part in its 17 nominated sports at Berlin 2023, with more than 40 coaches, support and medical volunteers and staff supporting the group.

Colin Dyer, Chief Executive of Special Olympics GB, said: “We are incredibly grateful to all of the coaches and volunteers who are giving up their time to help our athletes achieve their dreams of competing at a Special Olympics World Games.

“The investment from our coaches goes way beyond the competition in Berlin. They are arranging and delivering training weekends, whilst also fostering excellent relationships with the athletes and their families.

“The success of Special Olympics GB is built on a network a of incredible and essential volunteers who deliver sporting opportunities that can transform the lives of children and adults with an intellectual disability. We thank everyone across the country who has given their time in supporting our athletes.”

The Team Special Olympics GB contingent is also being supported at Berlin 2023 by Jingle Jam, the world’s biggest charity gaming event, which has recently donated £251,416.65 to help fund operational costs.

Delivered by The Yogscast, Special Olympics GB was one of the 12 nominated charities for the 2022 Jingle Jam event, which raised fund through charity donations and live streams.

Special Olympics GB is the UK’s largest provider of year-round sports training and competition for children and adults of all abilities with intellectual disabilities. More than 6,500 athletes are currently registered and are participating at one of the 95 accredited programmes within Scotland, England and Wales, which are delivered by a devoted team of around 3,500 volunteers.