FOYLE Special Olympics Club footballer Aidan Jarvis, who is preparing to compete at this year’s Special Olympics All-Ireland Games, has been given a kickstart on his journey by a host of well-known faces from the world of politics and sport.
Aidan was one of a number of selected Special Olympics Team Ulster athletes that attended a special launch event at Stormont recently.
The Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, Environment Minister, Mark H. Durkan and N.Ireland sports stars including former British and Irish Lion, Trevor Ringland, Glentoran goalkeeper, Elliott Morris and a host of MLAs were also in attendance to show their support to hundreds of local athletes that are preparing to compete at this year’s Special Olympics All-Ireland Games in Limerick.
To mark the official launch of Team Ulster the local sporting stars and Special Olympics Ulster athletes, volunteers and supporters joined ministers, MLAs and NI Assembly staff at Parliament Buildings to cycle, run and walk a cumulative 500 miles - representing the return journey Team Ulster athletes will make to the 2014 Special Olympics Limerick Games.
In addition to leading local politicians, Special Olympics Ulster’s novel ‘Stormont Challenge’ saw volunteers drop into Parliament Buildings throughout the day to clock up miles on their choice of either treadmill or exercise bike in Room 115 - sponsored by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) – to make their contribution to the overall mileage target of 500 miles.
Commenting at the launch of Team Ulster, Shaun Cassidy, regional director, Special Olympics Ulster said: “We are delighted with the number of people that have shown their support. For many of our athletes, the Special Olympics Ireland Limerick Games will be the first time they have competed on a national level and this is a fantastic achievement.”
The 2014 Special Olympics Limerick Games will take place over four days from Thursday, June 12th to Sunday, June 15th 2014.
In what will be one of the largest and most prestigious sporting events to take place in Ireland this year, 1,500 Special Olympics athletes from throughout Ireland will travel to Limerick.
They will be accompanied by 500 coaches and official delegates as well as a contingent of over 3,000 family members. The Games will be supported by a team of 3,000 volunteers who will be recruited over the coming months
For further information on how you can support Team Ulster on the road to the 2014 Limerick Games visit www.specialolympics.ie/ulster or call 028 9023 9023.