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Congratulations are in order for Leicestershire athlete Julie Freestone, who has recently returned from the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi with a bronze medal adding weight to her suitcase. Fisher German’s Head of Development, Ben Marshalsay, was first in line to congratulate Julie after his team’s sponsorship enabled the basketball player to travel to and compete in the games.

The Special Olympics is for athletes with intellectual disabilities, including autism, down’s syndrome and other learning disabilities. Unfortunately for many of these athletes, lack of funding has prevented them from competing on the international stage. Ben and the rest of Fisher German’s development team were delighted with how well Julie had done. Ben said: “We knew Julie was a great athlete, so when we heard she was struggling with her funding to attend the Special Olympics, we were only too happy to pledge our support. We’re all so pleased we were able to get her to Abu Dhabi so she could compete, and the fact she won a bronze medal was the icing on the cake.”

On her return from Abu Dhabi, Julie visited Fisher German’s Ashby office to thank the team in person. She said: “I’m so grateful to Fisher German for their generosity – it really meant the world to me. Without their sponsorship, I simply wouldn’t have been able to travel to Abu Dhabi, and I wouldn’t have won my bronze medal. Competing at the Special Olympics is a memory that will last a lifetime for me, so I have to thank Fisher German for helping me get there.”

Julie has been playing basketball for more than ten years and she was selected for the Special Olympics after previously competing in the UK National Games in basketball, winning a joint gold medal with Scotland and also a bronze medal after competing against the male team. As well as being an excellent basketball player, Julie also excels at football and hopes to see a GB women’s football team at the next Special Olympics. Choosing between the two sports, however, would be a tough decision!

Ben added: “It was a pleasure to welcome Julie to our Ashby office to congratulate her personally, and we’d be happy to support her again in four years’ time. Julie was also honoured this month by the Lord Mayor of Leicester, Councillor Ross Grant, who held a civic ceremony in her honour at the Town Hall.