OLYMPIAN GRAINNE MURPHY IS TAKING THE POLAR PLUNGE IN ROSSLARE FUNDRAISER
THE COUNTDOWN to the Special Olympics Polar Plunge in Rosslare is on and former Olympic swimmer Grainne Murphy has already dipped her toe in the water in an attempt to get used to the conditions!
The second annual Polar Plunge takes place this coming Saturday, December 9, with the aim of raising funds for Special Olympics Leinster.
Also present at the launch of the event was Foulksmills swimmer Shannon O’Farrell Molloy who will be competing in the 15m Kickboard Swim at the 2018 Special Olympics Ireland Games in Dublin next June.
Grainne, who hadn’t met Shannon before, found that they hailed from the same part of the county: ‘It’s great to have two local people involved. She’s very interesting to be around and to get to know, and I think there’s some exciting times for her in the future.’
Having retired from the sport last year, Grainne says that one of her key goals is to become more involved in the Special Olympics movement, saying that she saw little difference in what it takes for any athlete to compete in the pool.
‘When I take a step back and look at Shannon and think what I was doing at the Olympics or the World Championships, it’s the same mentality and the same goals – we all want the best out of ourselves. Special Olympics athletes challenge themselves every day and it’s phenomenal to be around.’
It is a landscape that she knows well as she was studying in UL when it hosted the Ireland Games in 2010 and volunteered at the same venue four years later. Since her retirement, volunteering with Special Olympics has, she said, helped her to make the challenging transition from elite sport to the ‘outside world’.
Now working in a marketing company in Dublin, Grainne is keen to become more involved in Special Olympics and give back to the sport.
Grainne is encouraging people to get involved in the upcoming Polar Plunge, saying that while the temperature might be less than appealing, the cause was hugely worthy.
‘We dipped our toe in the water! I know it can be cold in the winter in Rosslare but there will be a great atmosphere and a great buzz, and there’s a massive reward for being part of the Special Olympics movement.’
Anyone interested in taking part in the Polar Plunge can register at www.specialolympics. ie/polarplunge. Registration is €20 with plungers asked to raise an additional €50. All monies raised will support athletes from Special Olympics Ireland in sport and competition. Plungers who raise more than €50 will receive a free Polar Plunge t-shirt.