23 Wexford athletes gearing up for Special Olympics Ireland Games
WEXFORD Special Olympics Sports Club is gearing up to send a team of 23 athletes to the Special Olympics Ireland Games taking place in Dublin next June.
The team is, Athletics: Kevin Kinsella, Carole Ryan, Darragh Moran; Aquatics/ Swimming: Dean O Connor, Shannon O’Farrell Molloy, Carima Murphy; Basketball: Marian Flood, Jenna Carthy, Sarah Herlihy, Claire Meagher; Bocce: Darby Power; Pitch n Putt: Christopher Nolan, Phillip Clancy; Artistic Gymnastics: Paul Keane, Nathan Ferrick, Katie Dixon, Lisa Redmond, Colleen Flood, Lisa McKegney and Rhythmic Gymnastics: Rosie Murphy, Bridget Cowman, Rebecca Eydt, Jennie O Brien.
The Wexford club was formed 12 years following the huge success of the 2003 World Games in Dublin.
It had humble beginnings with some dedicated volunteers and a handful of athletes taking on this new challenge. Concentrating on just one sport, Gymnastics and training for fun and participation, the idea of competitive sport at the time seemed a distant dream into the future.
The club has grown since then to training in six different sports and competing in all of them, some to World Games Level.
The 2018 Games will take place from June 14 to 18 and will be based in Dublin throughout at various venues including Sport Ireland National Sports Campus. More than 1,600 athletes from all over Ireland will travel to Dublin to compete, making it one of the biggest sporting events in the country next year.
The Ireland Games are only held every four years and it is a great honour and achievement for an athlete to be selected to compete in them. In order to qualify athletes will have competed successfully at area and Leinster Level. This culminates in being selected to represent Team Leinster at All Ireland Games.
All the athletes are training in their respective sports throughout the year with the club and will attend regular training with the Leinster Team. Special Olympics provides lots of opportunities for people to compete at their own level always striving for each person to reach their potential and achieve personal goals. The pledge for Special Olympics is read out by an athlete at every event.
‘Let me win, but if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt’.
During their stay in the University Campus, the athletes will be accompanied by six chaperones and three head coaches and for 12 of the contenders this will be their first time to take part in The All Ireland Games and for some it will be their first time away from home.
There is no cost for the athletes but the club must pay €463 per athlete to cover the expenses of The Games. Wexford Special Olympics Sports Club will be launching a fundraising drive to meet these costs in the New Year.
If anyone would like to donate or sponsor the cost of an athlete please contact Peadar Dempsey at 087 9818419 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of Wexford Special Olympics in Wexford Golf Club for a meeting of members and family to arrange a fundraising drive to get athletes ready for next year’s games.