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Great Britain's Matthew Brough (L) and Lily Mills (R)  celebrating winning Gold in the Mixed Doubles Level 6 event at the 2023 Special Olympics held in Berlin (Photo by Ken Hanrahan Smith, Katz Wizkas Photography)

Special Olympics World Games 2023: GB Tennis Team awarded four medals in Berlin


Great Britain continued to expand its illustrious record after six British players competed at the Special Olympics, collectively taking home two gold medals, and two bronze.

The biennial event took place from the 17-25 June in Berlin, Germany where talented individuals from all corners of the globe made the journey to compete in 27 different sports.

Instated in 1968, the Special Olympics was developed with pioneering spirit for more inclusion at the fore. 55 years on and the event has transformed into a global inclusion movement, with more than five million athletes in 174 countries involved.

The format of the tournament follows a specification process whereby various levels are implemented to provide competition opportunities to athletes of all abilities.  Competition events run from Level 2 to Level 6 grading, with Level 6 being the highest level. Prior to the tournament, players are required to submit an ITN Assessment Form as part of allocation process which is based on their ITN Number and ITN final score.  

  • Level 2 – Red ball (ITN 10.1)
  • Level 3 – Orange ball (ITN 10)
  • Level 4 – Green ball (ITN 9)
  • Level 5 – Yellow ball (ITN, 8,7)
  • Level 6 – Yellow ball (ITN 6,5,4)

Four tennis players were selected to fly the British flag at the Tennis Club SC Brandenburg e.V., with only 20-year-old Lily Mills to return from the GB squad who won an impressive nine medals in Abu Dhabi back in 2019.

Led by Head Coach Paul Singleton, the remaining three players to be named in the squad were debutants Matthew Brough, Adam Brownsword, and Emily Clarke.


Brough realised singles and doubles delight in a memorable maiden performance, claiming gold in the Men’s Singles Level 6 SMO2 before winning bronze alongside compatriot Clarke in the Mixed Doubles.

Mills and Brownsword became the second GB Mixed Doubles pairing to earn their place on the podium after clinching the top spot in the Mixed Doubles, before Mills went on to earn her second bronze medal in the Women’s Singles Level 6 event.

Meanwhile, Brownsword and Clarke shyly missed out on silverware after finishing in fourth place in the Men’s Singles Level 6 SM01 and the Women’s Singles Level 5 SF01A, respectively.

  • Matthew Brough – Gold in the Men’s Singles Level 6 (SM02) and Bronze in the Mixed Doubles Level 6
  • Lily Mills – Bronze in the Women’s Singles Level 6 and Gold in the Mixed Doubles Level 6
  • Adam Brownsword – Gold in the Mixed Doubles Level 6 and fourth place in the Men’s Singles Level 6 (SM01)
  • Emily Clarke – Bronze in the Mixed Doubles Level 6 and fourth place in the Women’s Singles Level 5 (SF01A)

Special Olympics is for athletes with intellectual disabilities, including autism, Down's Syndrome and other learning disabilities. It is not an elite competition for only the very best, but is instead about personal achievement and reaching your own maximum potential.

Athletes in every sport at the Special Olympics World Games are grouped by age, gender and ability – giving everyone a fair chance of winning.

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