27/06/2022

First Special Olympics Ulster Event Held In Three Years

Communities Minister has welcomed the return of the first Special Olympics Ulster event in three years, with athletes 'going for gold' at Antrim Forum.

More than 80 athletes competed in the two-day track and field events and were supported by a team of volunteers, coaches and family, who Minister Hargey thanked for their dedication.
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The Minister, who presented awards to the winning athletes, said: "I am delighted that my Department can support the amazing work Special Olympics Ulster is engaged in. It has been wonderful to see these athletes participating once again in the sports they so obviously love and excel at, and the social aspect of events like this cannot be underestimated in terms of confidence building and the formation of lifelong friendships.

"Special Olympics plays an important role in the development of programmes and competitions, promoting inclusion within the community, changing societal attitudes to disability and in promoting physical health and mental wellbeing.

"And none of this would be possible without the commitment of the players, coaches, clubs, volunteers and partners who give their time, week after week and year after year to help develop those who participate in Special Olympic competition. I wish Special Olympics Ulster well for the future and specifically in all the preparations for the planned World Games in Berlin in 2023."

The Department for Communities has committed £1.775m funding to support Special Olympics programming for the four-year period 2020/21 to 2023/24.

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