From June 25th to July 4th 2011 , SportsNewsIreland be bringing you regular updates on the Irish team competing in the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens.
‘Team Ireland’ will be represented by a team of 126 Special Olympics Ireland athletes and their VOLUNTEER 49 coaches and Management + more than 220 other volunteers who will each have collected over 3000 euros to pay their way . The team will participate in 12 Sports – Aquatics, Athletics, Badminton, Bocce, Bowling, Equestrian, Football, Golf, Artistic and Rhythmic Gymnastics, Kayaking, Table Tennis. 3 teams will compete in the football competitions – 11-a-side male, 5-a-side female and 5-a-side male, and basketball will be represented by one male and one female team. The cost of sending this elite team is considerable but remember that this is but one very special event throughout the year which requires funding.
Remember too that Special Olympics Ireland is a nationwide organisation which supports those athletes less fortunate than the majority of us ,throughout the year thanks to a very large extent to the thousands of volunteers who give freely of their time on special occasions in connection with such as “collections” and “special events”.
Special Olympics Ireland is blessed to have the support of so many volunteers throughout the 32 counties of Ireland. All volunteers help the organisation to “Change the Lives” of our amazing athletes, their families and friends on a daily basis. 2011 is the European Year of the Volunteer. Special Olympics Ireland would not survive without their tremendous work and dedication. Mother Teresa put it very well, “Volunteers are unpaid, not because their work is worthless but because it is priceless”. And that is where YOU – and your family, friends, work colleagues and acquaintances can help.
On Friday, April 15th, Special Olympics Ireland needs many more volunteers. A couple of hours in the morning or afternoon would be a tremendous help. Special Olympics Ireland is once again embarking on their annual All Ireland Collection Day. The organisation would like their 2011 Collection Day to be the best it can be and with that in mind they are seeking the assistance of an army of volunteers. This year they aim to have over 3,000 volunteer collectors out at locations across the 32 counties of Ireland. This is a massive undertaking. You and your contacts can and will make a big difference.
How can YOU help on 15th April?
By giving of your time you – and your friends – will be helping to change the lives of our amazing athletes.
To sign up or find out more do please register at the following link
Don’t just sign up yourself though, albeit that would be a great start. Make good use of your own network of contacts to “spread the word” and help recruit more volunteers too. Here you will find a link to the contacts in every county in Ireland from whom you can get more information if you have any difficulty in signing up online or if any of your friends does not have Internet access. Don’t forget also to take the opportunity of checking out the Special Olympics Ireland pages on Facebook and Twitter.
For those SportsNewsIreland followers residing or working outside of Ireland, you too can register on the website and be part of the Special Olympics Ireland organisation, even if you cannot take part in the “Cash Collection Volunteer Day” .
Finally some information about the history of the Special Olympics movement Worldwide and in Ireland:
42 years ago, through a vision born in her own backyard, Eunice Kennedy Shriver established Special Olympics – an organisation that would grow into a global movement and change the lives of millions. Today 3 million athletes in more than 180 countries around the world benefit from being involved with Special Olympics.
Special Olympics Ireland was founded in 1978. Over the past 33 years the organisation has grown significantly and today has over 11,000 athletes participating in 15 sports in more than 440 Clubs throughout the island of Ireland. They are supported by a network of more than 18,000 volunteers, making Special Olympics one of the largest voluntary organisations in Ireland.
Currently Special Olympics Ireland offers the following sports: Alpine Skiing, Aquatics, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Equestrian, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Kayaking, Pitch & Putt, Table Tennis and the Motor Activities Training Programme (MATP).
In addition to providing sports training and competition, Special Olympics Ireland also incorporates the Athlete Leadership Programme (ALPs), the Family Support Programme, Healthy Athlete and Volunteer Programme.
So let us go forth and encourage family, friends and acquaintances to spare a couple of hours – or more – on April 15th. As Mother Teresa said : “Volunteers are unpaid, not because their work is worthless but because it is priceless”.