Southport & Formby Special Athletes was originally formed in 1983 as Southport & Formby Special Olympics Group. Since then many of our athletes have successfully competed in various regional, national and international events for people with intellectual (learning) disabilities.


On 22 September 1983 a meeting was held at Greaves Hall Hospital to discuss the formation of a Special Olympics Group. Some athletes had already been entering events and the earliest record we have was a United Kingdom Sports Association athletics event on 23 September 1983 at Kirkby.

In October that year the Southport & Formby Group was formally launched with Dr Izmeth as Chair and a constitution adopted. Since then, many of our athletes past and present have competed in various National and International events:

  • Dublin
  • Brighton
  • The Isle of Wight
  • Crewe
  • The Isle of Man
  • Leicester
  • Sheffield
  • Portsmouth
  • Cardiff
  • Bath
  • USA

In the early years the athletes were coached by physiotherapists at the hospital whilst many of the parents and carers worked hard at fund-raising. After Greaves Hall closed and the focus of the Group moved to the Adult Training Centre in Sandbrook Road. By then the physiotherapists had stopped their involvement in coaching the athletes. Without a regular training schedule the number of athletes involved in the Group dropped.

By 1992 the Committee too was in difficulty and the Group re-launched then became an independent registered charity changing our name to Southport & Formby Special Athletes. We also adopted our own logo with a wasp which stands for We Are Special People.