23 Wex­ford athletes gear­ing up for Spe­cial Olympics Ire­land Games

Wexford People - - NEWS - By DAVID TUCKER

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 se­catwex­ford­spe­cialolympic­ssc@gmail.com.

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.

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