Homecoming Dublin Airport
In June 2023, 73 Special Olympics Ireland athletes travelled to Berlin, Germany, to compete in the Special Olympics Summer World Games. Team Ireland came home with a remarkable 75 medals!
The mission of Special Olympics Ireland is "to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for adults and children from the age of 4, with an intellectual disability, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.”
Donations will contribute to supporting our Clubs’ Support and Development Programmes, which costs approximately $1,623,258 per year to operate. This programme encompasses club governance, support & development, Athlete Leadership and Young Athlete™ programmes.
Clubs are the heart of what we do and we are committed to developing, implementing and communicating processes, policies and procedures to instil a strong culture of good governance. By driving a strong governance culture, we will ensure that participation and opportunities are a quality experience for both athletes and volunteers. This programme also includes safeguarding in Special Olympics clubs and club recognition.
We are continuing to support our clubs to completely return to activity, post Covid-19. Volunteer recruitment, training and vetting is a huge part of this process, as well as upskilling volunteers to take on larger roles in their club, while still maintaining the standards of coaching and competition that we strive to offer our athletes.
We have also noticed a huge increase in the demand for an offering of training in combination with mainstream clubs, especially for more specialised sports. We are currently working on the governance and guidelines needed to allow this to take place, working closely with other NGBs so that we can stand over the standard of training that our athletes would receive in these circumstances.
Our staff, with volunteer support, are constantly working to see that we can reach as many athletes as possible across Ireland, and often this entails either expanding existing clubs, or setting up new clubs entirely, which involve a lot of planning, recruitment, admin and training. Thanks to the introduction of the Young Athlete™ programme, we have seen a steady increase in younger athletes joining Special Olympics clubs, and so we are working to develop and improve the athlete pathway within Special Olympics Ireland. This is to ensure that as athletes graduate out of the Young Athlete programme, we have options open and available for them to continue training and experiencing all that Special Olympics has to offer.
As always, a special thank you for your support. Your commitment to Special Olympics Ireland is so very much appreciated. Without you, we simply could not deliver on our promises.
Through the GlobalGiving Platform we are hoping to achieve a target of $10,000 for donations which will go towards the development of the Clubs Programme. We are delighted with all donations whether they are $10, $50 or $100. Donations of all sizes are welcome and will be thoroughly appreciated.
Warm regards, Special Olympics Ireland
Maria Shriver with Team Ireland representatives