Sam will star for Team GB at inaugural games in Paris

Sam Fernando is gearing up to mix it with the best when he competes at the Inas Summer Games in Paris.
Sam Fernando is gearing up to mix it with the best when he competes at the Inas Summer Games in Paris.

Gateside’s Sam Fernando, a member of Fife AC, will join leading GB athletes and head across channel in July for the inaugural Inas Summer Games.

Inas is the international sports federation for athletes with an intellectual impairment and the selection and organisation of Team GB rests with the UK Sports Association (UKSA).

British representation at the games, being held in Paris from July 14-28, spans the sports of athletics, cycling, tennis and swimming and Sam is one of six GB athletes across the four sports making his GB international debut.

Sam is a past pupil of Bell Baxter HS and an active member of Disability Sport Fife.

At Fife AC he is coached by Ron Morrison.

He’s been prolific locally for a while and is ready to star on a bigger stage.

Sam was an outstanding junior athlete in cross country and has established himself as one of the leading S14 distance athletes in GB.

He recorded a qualifying time for 10,000 metres and this opened up a place for him within Team GB.

Richard Brickley MBE, president of Disability Sport Fife, said: “Sam is enjoying an outstanding season and already he has recorded personal best performances over a range of distances.

“Congratulations Sam on your selection and all the very best in Paris.

“The role played by family, Bell Baxter HS staff and the coaching team at Fife AC has been significant in this outstanding young distance athlete’s career to date.

“All the very best in Paris in the major international event in 2018 for athletes with an intellectual impairment.”

Athletes will compete in nine sports at the games and it is expected that over 1000 participants will take part.

The Championships will incorporate the Inas European Championships in Athletics and Swimming and the Inas World Championships in Cycling and Tennis.

The UK Sports Association (UKSA) is the only official Great Britain member of Inas, the International Federation for athletes with intellectual impairment, Down syndrome and autism.