Tomorrow marks the starting day of the Special Olympics Ireland Games which will see 1600 athletes participate in 13 sports for their region. A day that represents excitement and pride for all athletes competing from the 14th – 17th of June.
The Special Olympics organisation founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968 has promoted the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in sport. The organisation in Ireland is renowned for doing great work and making a difference. Running much deeper than a simple sports organisation, it fosters the development of athletes both physically and emotionally, through sports.
Extract from Special Olympics:
“Let Me Win…” – The opening of the Special Olympics motto. Rebecha McAuley knows these words. She knows that if she cannot win, she must be “brave in the attempt.” It’s the motto that Rebecha will repeat when she lines out for Eastern Region at the Special Olympics Ireland Games in June. For now, they are not words to say. They are words to live by. Every single day.
You can see the sportswoman in this Bray native as soon as you meet her. She is kind, funny and outgoing. Underneath? The drive of a champion. She admits it herself.
“I like a challenge,” says the 25 year old. “Badminton is really good for that. You have to run, you have to move. You have to hit those shots over the head when you can. The better you are, the higher the level you can play at.”
We encourage all that can, to pop in and see the inspirational efforts of all those participating. Ireland hosted the Special Olympic Games in 2003 which brought great crowds to see these athletes in action and we hope to see more of the same at this competition.
The Special Olympics Ireland Games will take place in Dublin and surrounding areas, with much of it at the National Sports Campus in Blanchardstown. Below is a list of the locations and to find directions and parking information click here.
Aquatics: National Aquatic Centre, National Sports Campus, Blanchardstown
Athletics: Morton Stadium, Santry
Bowling: Leisureplex, Blanchardstown Shopping Centre
Badminton, Basketball, Bocce, Gymnastics and MATP: National Indoor Arena, National Sports Campus, Blanchardstown
Equestrian: Cherry Orchard Equine Centre, Dublin 10
Football: FAI Pitches, National Sports Campus, Blanchardstown
Golf: St Margaret’s Golf and Country Club, Co. Dublin
Kayaking: Salmon Leap Canoe Club, Leixlip, Co. Kildare
Open Water Swimming: Seapoint, Dun Laoighre, Co. Dublin
Pitch & Putt: Royal Meath Pitch & Putt Club, Clonee, Co. Meath