Former England and Liverpool legend John Barnes has unveiled Ethan Wallbank as one of eight young Special Olympics Great Britain footballers who will live out one of their greatest dreams by representing the nation at the UEFA Euro 2012™ Championships in June.
Thanks to Coca-Cola, official partner of UEFA Euro 2012™ and long term supporter of Special Olympics Great Britain, Ethan will lead out the England team as a flag bearer at the match versus France at the Donbass Arena, Donetsk, on June 11.
Coca-Cola GB has offered the dream places to the youngsters as it celebrates a 34 year relationship with Special Olympics Great Britain, the country’s largest provider of year-round sports training and competition for people with learning disabilities. The charity uses sport to encourage and empower people with learning disabilities, giving them the chance to train and compete in 24 Olympic sports, have fun, get fit and develop their self-esteem.
The lads, who play for Special Olympics Unified Football® clubs in the Milton Keynes and Enfield areas, are excited about their upcoming role in UEFA EURO 2012™.
Liz Lowe, Citizenship Manager at Coca-Cola Great Britain said: “Unified Football® is such an inspirational programme and shows that football really does bring people from all walks of life together. The boys that play Unified Football® are fantastic ambassadors for the sport. We’re proud of our longstanding partnership with Special Olympics Great Britain and are honoured to give these Athletes and Partners the once-in-a-lifetime chance to be flag bearers at UEFA EURO 2012™.”
Karen Wallin, CEO, Special Olympics Great Britain said: “Our athletes have been given a wonderful opportunity to become representatives of England and ambassadors for people with intellectual disabilities all over the world. We’re very proud of our relationship with Coca-Cola Great Britain and are thrilled that our athletes have been given this honour. This will be an experience that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”
To find out more about Special Olympics GB and Unified Sports go to www.specialolympicsgb.org.uk