Take the plunge for char­ity

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - NEWS - By FER­GUS DEN­NEHY

HARDY mem­bers of the Kerry pub­lic are be­ing asked to take the icy plunge in the cold Fenit waters next month, all in the name of a char­i­ta­ble cause, lo­cal ath­letes with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties.

Tak­ing place on the morn­ing of De­cem­ber 9 at 11am, the chill­ing in­vite from the Special Olympics Ire­land team ex­tends to fam­i­lies, sports clubs, busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als. A num­ber of lo­cal ath­letes will be on hand to meet, greet and chat about their ex­pe­ri­ences be­ing part of Special Olympics.

“Po­lar Plunge is about cold wa­ter and a warm at­mos­phere,” said Jes­sica Mullins, Re­gional Fundrais­ing Co­or­di­na­tor.

“Po­lar Plunges are an­nual events for Special Olympics and we are hop­ing to make the one in Kerry a flag ship event. It has proved hugely pop­u­lar in bring­ing peo­ple to­gether for a great cause and kicks off the fes­tive sea­son,” she con­tin­ued.

“It’s a mas­sive year for us. Hun­dreds of ath­letes will be tak­ing part in the Ire­land Games next June and hun­dreds more train ev­ery week lo­cally. The Games only hap­pen once ev­ery four years and for many is the pin­na­cle of their sport­ing achieve­ment,” said Jes­sica Mullins.

“The fact that they can share it with team­mates from the same re­gion as them makes it even more special, but it doesn’t hap­pen with­out pub­lic sup­port.”

Those who think they are brave enough to take the Po­lar Plunge can regis­ter at www.spe­cialolympics.ie/po­larplunge. Reg­is­tra­tion costs just €20 with plungers asked to raise an ad­di­tional €50.

Money raised goes di­rectly to supporting ath­letes with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties.

ABOVE: Mas­cot ‘Bear Chills’ braves the wa­ter at Fenit Beach with Special Olympics ath­letes Mary Claire McCarthy, Jonathan Kerins and Bren­dan O’Con­nell for the launch of Kerry’s first Po­lar Plunge on De­cem­ber 9 while

LEFT: Swim­mer Mary Claire McCarthy (Cur­row, Kil­lar­ney) hud­dles for warmth with Tralee Garda Irene Rior­dan at the launch of the in­au­gu­ral Special Olympics Ire­land Po­lar Plunge at Fenit Beach on De­cem­ber 9.

Garda and quin­tu­ple All-Ire­land champ Ai­dan O’Ma­hony and Castleis­land swim­mer Jonathan Kerins join mas­cot ‘Bear Chills’ and sup­port­ers at Fenit for the launch of Kerry’s first Po­lar Plunge for Special Olympics Ire­land on De­cem­ber 9.

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