Special Olympics season up and running in Leinster

Special Olympics Leinster’s Regional Competition Events got underway in Laois recently.

Special Olympics Leinster’s Regional Competition Events got underway in Laois recently.

The regional level bocce competition took place in the Heritage Golf Spa Hotel in Killenard on January 22 and 23. Bocce is very similar to Lawn Bowls. Opposing players and teams play with either red or green balls, competing in singles, doubles and team events.

Local TDs Sean Fleming and Charlie Flannagan were present at the Opening Ceremony to welcome athletes, coaches and family members to Laois

One hundered and twenty athletes from counties Louth, Meath, Offaly, Laois, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wexford, Kildare, Wicklow and Westmeath made the trip to Laois to compete at this prestigious regional level event. Laois was well represented at the event with over twenty athletes from around the county and the local Special Olympics Club in Portarlington showing their sporting prowess on the courts.

Laois Councillors Tom Mulhall, John Joe Fennelly and Padraig Fleming, alongside inter-county football legend Ross Munnelly and members of Gardai Siochana were on hand to present medals and ribbons to the participating athletes.

Renowned paralympian and local Sports Partnership employee Garrett Cullition was also in attendance during the event to lend his encouragement to the participating athletes

Annette Codd, Regional Director Special Olympics Leinster said. “The Bocce competition event marked the start of Special Olympics Leister’s regional competition schedule.

“The event was a fantastic success with all 120 athletes involved showing off the skills they have developed at club level. I would like to congratulate each and every one of them for being so well prepared and for displaying such sportsmanship over the two days of competition.

“I would also like to pay tribute to the incredible volunteer team who gave of their time and expertise so willingly to ensure that every element of the event was run to a very high standard.

“Events like these simply could not happen if it were not for the support we receive from volunteers and we are extremely grateful to every one of the volunteers for their contribution”.

This event was one of 12 regional competition events which will take place this year. From now until June over 1,000 athletes from the Leinster region will compete in 12 regional level competition events. These events are the highest level regional competition in the Special Olympics calendar.

Following these events Team Leinster will be selected to compete at the 2014 Special Olympics Ireland Games which will take place in Limerick.

For further information about this event or to find out more about Special Olympics Leinster please visit www.specialolympics.ie/leinster.