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Gateshead-based print management company Smart Office Systems Ltd (SOS Group) has become a Special Olympics GB 2017 National Summer Games sponsor. Special Olympics Great Britain announced this week that SOS Group will be a Games Supporter for this spectacular event, which is heading to Sheffield in August.

Held every four years, the organisation’s flagship event, the National Summer Games is the country’s largest multi-sports event for athletes with intellectual (learning) disabilities. The 10th National Summer Games will see around 2,600 athletes compete in 20 sports across over a dozen venues in Sheffield between 7th and 12th August.

Andrew Skelton, Director of SOS Group, said: ‘We are honoured to support Special Olympics GB’s National Games and so many fantastic athletes with intellectual (learning) disabilities.’

‘We have long-standing links with our local Special Olympics Club in Gateshead and we know how much this competition means to them.’ The excitement is building already and we can’t wait to see at first hand the achievements of these talented and committed athletes.’

SOS Group will be providing managed print services, including photocopiers, printers and engineering support, for the event, ensuring competition information is promptly supplied for athletes and their support teams will be vital to the success of the Games.

Karen Wallin, CEO of Special Olympics GB, commented: ‘We are thrilled to have this generous support from Smart Office Systems. Special Olympics GB provides a daily, all ability, sports training and competition programme for over 10,000 people with intellectual disability across England, Scotland and Wales and the National Summer Games, held every four year is the pinnacle event to which our athletes train so hard to compete in.’ Special Olympics GB gives our athletes the platform to achieve their personal best and maximum potential and that will be the spirit of this showpiece event.’

Jake Gradon, a Special Olympics athlete from the Northern Region attending the Games in Sheffield for the first time, said: ‘I’m most looking forward to competing and meeting new people. I want to show how good I am and hopefully come back with some medals. I am nervous about the number of people but will try and get over that fast. I will focus on what I am doing.’

Special Olympics Gateshead is one of 150 voluntary clubs across England, Scotland and Wales and formed just over two years ago and aims to ensure people with disabilities can fulfil their sporting aspirations and have the same opportunities as people without disabilities. It is a measure of the club’s success that 32 of its athletes have been selected for the Summer Games 2017. SOS Group has supported Special Olympics Gateshead for two years, giving training equipment to athletes, supporting their annual awards celebration and helping raise the funds required to send athletes to Sheffield.

SOS Group Ltd launched in 2002 to supply digital office equipment, related software and support. Based on the Team Valley, the company also has an office in Bristol and services ‘blue chip’ clients nationally and, increasingly, internationally.

It employs 23 staff and its services include document management, scanning, cost consultation, managed print services and supplying and maintaining leading brand digital office equipment. It is an accredited Kyocera UK agent and Lexmark approved partner.

The firm has a long-standing tradition of local charity support and is the key sponsor for fundraiser Mark ‘Run Geordie Run’ Allison as he continues his Around the World running challenge.

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