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Matthew's going for gold as part of Team GB's Special Olympics squad

April 20, 2018 02:10pm
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Congratulations to Matthew White from our Dundee Kirkton store who's been selected for the Great Britain team for the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.

Asda Dundee Kirkton colleague Matthew White celebrating his Special Olympics call up with colleagues
Colleagues will be cheering Matthew on next March

Matthew, who's 38, has learning disabilities which mean he struggles with reading, writing and understanding. He's worked at the store as a porter for 17 years. With the help and encouragement of his mum Sheila, he applied for a place on the ten pin bowling team for the Summer Olympics, and impressed the selection panel with his sporting talent and personal qualities – and he'll now join a 192-strong British team at the games next March.

Last year he won three medals for his club team, Tayside, at the Great Britain Special Olympics in Sheffield.

Asda colleague Matthew White with fellow ten pin bowling medalists at the Great Britain Special Olympics
Matthew with fellow medalists at the Great Britain Special Olympics

Matthew secured his job at Asda after coming for a week's work experience from Dundee College, which is just down the road from the store.

Sheila said: "Asda have been very good since the start – there's always been somebody looking out for him. He does struggle with filling in forms, so if he wants holiday time, someone will always help him fill the forms in.

"He knows all the customers well and they know him, it's quite a sociable job which is great for him because he's very sociable.

"Asda have been very flexible in allowing Matthew to have time off for all of his competitions.

"I'm very proud of him, and everything he has achieved."

Matthew White from Asda Dundee Kirkton has been chosen for the Great Britain Special Olympics team
Matthew won three medals at the Great Britain Special Olympics

General store manager Dougie McKeown says everyone at the store is proud of Matthew and will be cheering him on next year.

He said: "Matthew is a really helpful and popular colleague. No matter what customers or colleagues ask him to do, he'll do it. He always wants to help people out and do his best.

"We're all really proud of him being selected for the Special Olympics team, and will be wishing him all the best. It's great for him, and for the store too."

Matthew took up sport when he was 15, playing basketball and taking up dressage before settling on ten pin bowling.

Chris Hull, from Special OIympics Great Britain, said: "We looked individually at around 500 applications, and Matthew's application impressed us.

"Obviously sporting ability is important when we select the team, but we also look at athletes' level of commitment, their general attitude and whether they're a good team player.

"If those areas are covered, we know they're going to be a great ambassador for Special Olympics GB, and for people with learning disabilities.

"Matthew met all these criteria, and it's a great accolade for him to be joining the team."

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