There will be plenty of local interest in this weekend’s Special Olympics Ireland Games which take place in Dublin from Thursday June 14 to Sunday June 17.
No less than 22 athletes from St Theresa’s Special Olympic Club who are based in Dundalk will make the trip to Dublin along with over 1600 athletes from throughout the country.
Those 1600 athletes will be accompanied by 600 coaches and official delegates as well as 3,000 family members and supporters.
St Theresa’s Special Olympics Club has been running for more than 20 years and has approximately 30 athletes currently training with them.
The club caters for athletes of all ages and has athletes ranging from 8-63 years of age.
To even reach the games is a massive achievement and the standard in St Theresa’s is improving each year with a record number of entrants involved this year.
Participants had to go through Area and Regional Events and were selected over a period of several months.
According to Mary McElroy who is involved in the running of St Theresa’s Special Olympic Club there is great excitement amongst the athletes ahead of the games this weekend.
“All the hard work and training is done now so the athletes who have qualified are raring to go and can’t wait to begin the games.
“There’s a mad rush now from everybody looking for tickets for the opening ceremony which takes place on Thursday (tomorrow) and they are ready to compete now.
“We have been training hard once a week to get ready for the games and now it’s time to do our best up in Dublin.
“I wish each and every one of them the best and as I say to them all of the time even if they finish sixth in a six person race they can still be proud as that means they are the sixth best in that discipline in the whole of Ireland. It is honestly a great achievement to even qualify for the games so I am proud of all of them,” stated Mary.
The 22 athletes who will travel to Dublin for the Special Olympic Ireland Games are:
Athletics: Michael Trimble, Eoin Callaghan, Eamon Toner, Phillip Hoey, Fionn Farrell, Joseph Smith, Pauline Bramley and Brian Watters.
Football: Noel Langtry, Peadar McArdle, David Moore, Cillian Moran and Ben Marron.
Swimming: Raymond Torris, Alex Teeling, Christopher Duffy, Michael Hand and Billy McDonnell.
Bocce: Oliver Hanratty and David O’Hare.
10 Pin Bowling: Anita Guest
Golf: Kyle Norton.
The opening ceremony takes place tomorrow Thursday June 14 in Tallaght while the games will in the main take place in Blanchardstown at the National Sports Campus.