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West Midlands Police Federation

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Special Olympic challenge for former West Mids officer

13 March 2019

Federation members are being encouraged to support the efforts of a former West Midlands Police officer helping raise money to help people with intellectual disabilities take part in the Special Olympics.

PC Andrew Watson (formerly West Midlands PC) is now with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and with his colleague Sergeant Ivan Shields is taking part in the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) in the run-up to the Games, which take place in the United Arab Emirates this month.

The LETR has raised more than half a billion dollars since it began in America in 1981, and is the largest grassroots fund-raising and awareness movement for the Special Olympics.

The summer games are being held in Abu Dhabi from 14 to 21 March.

They will be one of the largest year’s largest multi-sport events with more than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries competing in 24 summer sports, and Torch Runs will be held around the UAE in the run up to the games.

Known as Guardians of the Flame, law enforcement members and Special Olympics athletes carry the Flame of Hope on the runs before lighting the cauldron at the opening ceremonies.

The Guardians of the Flame this year will include PC Watson and Sgt Shields.

PC Watson said: “We have the great honour of being the only UK police officers to be selected to attend the Special Olympics Summer Games as part of the Final Leg Torch Run.

“Ninety officers from around the world will make up 10 teams, with each team including a Special Olympics athlete. These are the real heroes of the whole event.”

He added: “Between Sgt Shields and myself, we hope to raise £6,000 in the lead-up to attending the final leg.

“As the only UK-based officers to be present at this event, we hope to show just how generous the people of Great Britain and Northern Ireland can be, and with your help we can make this possible.”

Members can donate to account number 51659673, sort code 00 03 01. Members are asked to use the reference AD19 and to email PC Watson andy.watson@psni.pnn.police.uk so that he can check for donations.

Diary

October 2019
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