National Summer Games - Honoured Guest Programme | ZiaBia
Face To Face Event Management
Special Olympics GB

National Summer Games – Honoured Guest Programme

Following the success of the 9th National Summer Games held in Bath in 2013, ZiaBia were approached by the charity to help with the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games. These were taking place in Sheffield in 2017. We were delighted to have been asked and of course, said yes.

Sheffield United Football club
Sheffield, England

Our scope for 2017 was to take over the management of the Honoured Guest Programme. With 2,600 athletes, 800 coaches, 1,000 volunteers, 200 officials and over 7,000 family and friends attending the games, the challenge was on for ZiaBia to step up to the plate.

It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Vicky and Debbie on this event. The National Games are our flagship event held every four years and as a charity reliant on sponsors and donors, the Honoured Guest programme is such an important element to get right.

Karen Wallin
CEO, Special Olympics GB


Logistically the 2017 games were more of a challenge than the previous games in Bath. The competition had more sports (21) and they covered 14 venues in and around Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham, and Wakefield. In Bath there were less sports and only 4 main venues.

ZiaBia's main tasks were to help create and manage the registration system for all Honoured Guests. This involved liaising the details with the guests and awards teams for medal ceremonies taking place daily throughout the week, ticket allocations for the opening ceremony and looking after the Honoured Guests at the VIP drinks reception.

This was a huge project to take on as we could see how the momentum for the games had increased over 4 years with many more Sponsors, Ambassadors and Supporters on board to support Special Olympics GB and their Athletes. When everyone had registered, each person received a personalised itinerary and email confirmation with their details for the week, where to register in Sheffield and who to contact should they require assistance.

The attention to detail in the planning stages and throughout the event, was second to none and gave me great peace of mind knowing this very important element of the Games was being managed professionally.

Karen Wallin 
CEO, Special Olympics GB
The skies were dark and it rained, but this did not dampen the spirits of all that turned up

The Event

The opening ceremony took place on 8th August 2017 at Sheffield United Football club. The skies were dark and it rained, but this did not dampen the spirits of all that turned up, in fact it had quite the opposite effect on the Athletes and their families.

The VIP Afternoon Tea reception was attended by SOG chairman Lawrie McMenemy, Jim Carter, an SOGB Ambassador along with stars of sport, TV and music. Competitions then ran for the next three days, the weather perked up and the atmosphere was electric.

With volunteer teams briefed by us, managing Honoured Guest registration desks at all of the venues, we could ensure that our organisational presence was felt all around the city meaning a smooth process for the guests especially if they were presenting medals.

The final day and closing ceremony on the 12th August soon came. ZiaBia had enjoyed a hectic and thoroughly fulfilling 4 days. Roll on 2021...