Wirral-based operator of care facilities for people with learning disabilities, Potens, is an official supporter of Special Olympics GB and founder John Farragher will watch the global event. Tony McDonough reports
Merseyside care facility entrepreneur John Farragher will travel to the United Arab Emirates this month to see 7,000 athletes from over 190 countries compete in the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games.
John’s Wirral-based company, Potens, is an official supporter of Special Olympics GB, the largest year-round, all-ability, sports programme in the UK which supports more than 10,000 athletes with learning disabilities.
Potens operates 78 facilities for people with learning disabilities across the country and employs around 1,450 staff. John, who has worked in the care industry for more than three decades, set up the business in 1989. Backed by HSBC in Liverpool, the business is continuing to acquire new sites across the UK.
He is committed to helping people with learning disabilities lead active and fulfilling lives and says the Special Olympics programme of events helps raise the self-esteem of tens of thousands of people across the UK, as well as promoting health and wellbeing.
Sense of achievement
“Many of our service users have taken part in Special Olympics events and I’ve seen first-hand the enormous sense of achievement people gain from participating and competing – it is a fantastic organisation,” he said.
“I feel honoured to be part of this fantastic cause and look forward to helping raise awareness of the upcoming event in Abu Dhabi – the first place in the Middle East-North Africa Region to be host of a Special Olympics World Games.”
Special Olympics is the world’s largest humanitarian sporting event and a global movement which focuses on the “empowerment of people with intellectual disabilities through the power of sport”.
The Abu Dhabi games will begin on Thursday, March 14, will last for seven days, encompass 24 different sports and disciplines and will be watched by more than 500,000 spectators, including John. Around 2,000 volunteers will make sure the games run smoothly.
Potens made a long-term commitment to Special Olympics GB last year and, during the summer, hosted a ‘lunch and learn’ event in Birkenhead Park to promote the work of the organisation. It included a barbecue and a number of activities and was attended by Potens staff, services users, representatives and athletes from Special Olympics GB.
John added: “As part of our ongoing commitment to Special Olympics GB, Potens will be setting a ‘wellbeing challenge’ for teams and individuals up and down the UK with the aim of getting people active and increase their involvement in sport and activities over the coming year.
“I can personally vouch for the positive impact the programme has for people at our care facilities all over the country and we will continue to offer our support it in whatever way we can.”