ULSTER’S SPECIAL OLYMPICS ATHLETES COME TO CASTLEREAGH
21 February 2013
Over 140 athletes from across Ulster will make their way to Dundonald Ice Bowl this Friday, as they compete for the chance to represent Ulster at the Special Olympics Ireland Games next year.
On Friday 22nd February 2013, 142 athletes from 14 Special Olympics Clubs throughout Ulster will come together to compete in Special Olympics Ulster’s Regional Bowling Event. Following an opening ceremony attended by the Mayor of Castlereagh, Alderman Michael Henderson MBE, participants will take part in a full day of competition, in either the singles or doubles events. As well as aiming to finish top of their division on the day, athletes will also be battling it out for the chance to be selected to take part in the Ireland Games in 2013, which could subsequently see them compete on the international stage at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles in 2015.
Special Olympics Ulster has strong links with Castlereagh with three Special Olympics Clubs being based in the Borough; Pin Pals, Cheetahs and Salto. All clubs are widely supported by Castlereagh Borough Council, a team of dedicated local volunteers and highly skilled coaches.
The Mayor of Castlereagh, Alderman Michael Henderson MBE said: “Dundonald International Ice Bowl is delighted to host the regional qualifier for a major sporting event like the Special Olympic Games. The facility has extensive experience delivering programmes and events to groups with disabilities and I am confident that this event will continue to build on this success.”
The Mayor added, “The Special Olympic Games holds a very special place in everyone’s heart as it is not just a sports competition; it is about overcoming perceived barriers and sharing the moments of triumph and attempt of every participant. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the athletes every success for the competition and I hope they enjoy the event and encourage others to get involved in sport.”
In order to ensure that these athletes receive the sporting chance they deserve, Special Olympics Ulster is calling on local people to get behind the event and show their support for the local athletes taking part on Friday. Public support will make a huge difference to these athletes and in return, people will have the opportunity to witness true sporting action as well as share in the pride and excitement of the athletes’ families and friends.
Looking ahead to the event this Friday, Shaun Cassidy, regional director of Special Olympics Ulster said:
“The regional bowling event in Dundonald marks the start of an exciting calendar of sporting events for Special Olympics Ulster, as we embark on a year full of regional sporting competitions.
“Special Olympics Ulster is delighted to see over 140 athletes from across Ulster come together for this event, which is testament to the hard work and dedication of each and every individual taking part. I would like to wish each of the athletes the very best of luck for the competition on Friday and I would encourage people to come out and cheer on their local sporting stars.”
For further information on the calendar of events, how to volunteer or details of sponsorship opportunities, please contact Special Olympics Ulster on 028 90239023. Special Olympics Ulster is funded by Sport NI.