TEN Vale of Glamorgan athletes have competed in the Special Olympics National Summer Games in Sheffield, as part of a 170 strong Welsh squad for the competition hosted on Monday, August 7.

The Vale athletes took part in five different sports, representing Special Olympics Team Wales who took home a total of 59 gold, 82 silver and 64 bronze medals, giving them an overall total of 205.

Twenty-one medals were won by Vale athletes – six gold, 10 silver and five bronze.

Kristina Rees, of Llantwit Major, received gold in 100m freestyle, silver in 50m freestyle and a bronze medal in 50m backstroke, while Laura Knights of Penarth won a gold in the 50m freestyle and a silver in the 100m freestyle. Elsewhere in the pool, Adrian Abbott, also of Llantwit Major, won gold in the 100m freestyle.

Barry's James Savory, the sole Vale badminton representative, took bronze in the men's singles and was unfortunate to finish in fourth place in the men's doubles event, with his partner Stephen Davies of Wrexham.

Boccia – a sport similar to bowls played predominantly by those with physical disabilities – saw a multitude of Barry medallists, with Heather Williams winning the gold medal in the women's singles. Sonja Pedersen and John Harry both won silvers in their respective events, while Dewi Evans picked up the bronze. Melissa Jones also finished fifth in her event.

The men’s pairs saw Evans and Harry receive the bronze medal, while Heather Williams, Melissa Jones and Sonja Pedersen finished fifth in the women's team event.

Golfer Sam Lazenbury from Barry competed in the 18 hole competition, winning a silver medal, while fellow Barrian Mark Eveleigh competed in the 9 hole competition finishing fifth.

In artistic gymnastics, Gareth Lloyd picked up a plethora of medals, winning gold in the overall competition, silver in the floor, parallel bars and rings disciplines, as well as bronze medals in the high bar and pommels.

Kiaran Parsons picked up a gold medal on the pommels, as well as claiming silvers in the overall category, floor, high bar and rings, and a bronze in the vault.

Special Olympics Cardiff & Vale would like to thank the local clubs in the Vale and coaches that these athletes train at weekly, in particular: Bridgend Sharks and Cardiff Chameleons Swimming Club, Cardiff Shadows Badminton Club, Rollers (Barry), St Andrews Major Golf Club and Penarth Gymnastics Club.