SportExcel UK announce GB Athletics Team to Virtus Global Games

Joel Mattacks in action

SportExcel UK is proud to announce the Athletics Team competing at the 2023 Virtus Global Games in Vichy, France 2nd to 11th June.  

Sam Fernando (Fife, Steve Doig), Steven Bryce (Victoria Park, Glasgow, Steve Doig), Matthew Power (Livingston, Celia Peerless), Joel Mattacks (Bath, Phil Warwicker) and Faye Olszowka (Bexley, Coral Nourrice), are set to take Vichy by storm in what will be a tough world class event.

The Team is led by GB Team Manager/Head Coach, Steve Doig and supported by GB coach, Kevin Manning with Liz Power (Escort).

In his Virtus (T/F20) international debut, Joel Mattacks said

I’m honoured to be selected – We’ve been working for so long to get here so to have my first senior international GB call up at such a big Championships is huge, especially after having to miss last season through injury makes it even better.”

“It’s been a long journey, with so many setbacks over the last 13 years since starting athletics and honestly, I could never have dreamed of being where I am now so am extremely grateful. I was never the quickest in the group when I joined at the start and am still far from where I want to be but the one thing, I’ve had told to me all this time was that ‘hard work pays’, and that if you want something hard enough you’ve got to work for it.”


Steve Doig, GB Team Manager/Head Coach said

“It’s an honour to be asked to work alongside such a talented group of athletes. Each and every one of them makes a great commitment to the sport and their selection for this event is reward for the hours of work they have put in. I’m excited to see what they can achieve in Vichy.”


Tracey McCillen, Chief Executive, SportExcel UK said

I couldn’t be more excited at our return to the Virtus Global Games.  Sport was hit hard by the pandemic, and our athletes were amongst some of the hardest hit.  To return to the elite stage with a strong GB Team to France really is a milestone. Good luck to each athlete, we did well in the 2019 Games in Brisbane, so I can’t wait to see the Brits in action again, not just in athletics but across a total of six sports!”

The Virtus Global Games is the world’s largest elite sports event for athletes with an intellectual impairment. Athletes from Europe, America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania will perform across ten main sports, with over 1200 athletes expected. Demonstration events are also included at every edition to reflect the most popular sports of the host nation that are not already on the Virtus programme.

Many athletes who have made their major international debut at the Global Games have gone on to win Paralympic titles. The event, hosted by the VIRTUS Member Organisation for France – the Fédération Française du Sport Adapté (FFSA) is scheduled every 4 years in the year ahead of the Paralympic Games.

British athletes will compete in the 2023 Global Games in athletics, para-dressage, judo, karate, swimming, and tennis. The Team is presented by SportExcel UK in collaboration with Down Syndrome Swimming GB, British Judo Association, Lawn Tennis Association, and the British Karate Federation, with selection supported by Home Country NGBs in swimming and athletics.

2019 Global Games Silver medallist, Sam Fernando set for Vichy

SportExcel UK promotes, supports, and facilitates talented sports people in the UK to train, compete and excel in national and international sport. It is the only official Great Britain member of Virtus is responsible for and manages eligibility and classification across the UK and manages GB Teams to Virtus events.

For more information on the GB Team and the Virtus Global Games contact SportExcel UK.

You can keep up to date with the GB Athletics  Team results via the Global Games website.