ITV is to be an official partner of the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games and will broadcast the event nationally for the first time.
The broadcaster’s coverage will be through its ITV1 regional news network, which will show daily highlights from the competition. It will also cover the national Torch Relay and profile athletes in the build-up to the Games, which take place in Leicester from July 25 to July 31.
Special Olympics is the third Olympic movement alongside the Olympics and Paralympics. The summer games take place every four years with this year’s competition featuring more than 2,700 athletes with learning disabilities.
Guy Phillips, director of events and projects for the ITV News Group, says the partnership provides an opportunity to help raise the event’s profile. “We know we can bring a new audience to these Olympics which will give the participants of the Games a much wider recognition of their abilities and talents,” he says.
Steve Humphries, games director, says the “ground-breaking” agreement is a “fantastic opportunity for the nation to gain an appreciation of the sporting talents of people with learning disabilities”.
This Special Olympics follow the success of Team GB at the Beijing Olympic Games, where Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic teams recorded their best performance for 100 years.