Let the games begin
In 1989 a group of people who worked with pupils with severe learning disabilities and complex and profound multiple learning difficulties were concerned with the sparseness of athletic events in Bedfordshire for them once they had left school.
An athletics meeting was organised in July that year for teenagers and adults with severe disabilities which was so successful that it has been repeated every year since and continues to give great pleasure to hundreds of competitors.
Since then literally hundreds of people with these most severe difficulties have taken part and competed in these annual events which are always held on the first Tuesday in July at the Bedford International athletic Stadium. Last years’ total of 330 was exceeded this year with over 350 competitors in a total of 75 track and field events.
The Bedfordshire Freemasons' charity has assisted for many years, presenting prizes and certificates, and providing a shield to be for the most deserving team. This year the Bedfordshire Freemasons sponsored the Bedfordshire Games by donating £1,500 towards this very special event.
Eric Barford, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master of the Bedfordshire Freemasons, said: 'We have supported this event for around five years now, as when we first became aware of it we were simply enthralled by the dedication of those who volunteer to make this happen and the joyous looks on the faces of the competitors. Events like this don’t happen very often and it offers so much to everyone who takes part so we are happy to support this.'