I’ve had the pleasure of working with Special Olympics Ireland, and in particular, Special Olympics Ulster – one of its five regional programmes – over the last four years. During this time, I have met so many wonderful and truly inspirational people that have forever changed my outlook on life.
Special Olympics athletes have proven to me time and time again that having an intellectual disability does not stop you from achieving great things; nor does it limit your ability to push your boundaries and strive to do your very best. The coaches and volunteers have also been a great source of inspiration – a group of truly wonderful people that give huge personal commitment to help Special Olympics athletes right across Ireland achieve their goals. It’s been hugely humbling to watch.
In June 2014, I joined volunteers from across Ireland in supporting athletes at the Special Olympics Ireland Limerick Games. Working as part of the media team, I helped to tell the stories of athletes, families and volunteers to press across the island. It was a small but significant role and one that I greatly enjoyed.
Next year, local Special Olympics athletes from right across Ireland will travel to the states to take part in the Special Olympics World Summer Games, Los Angeles 2015. And I’m honoured to be joining them once again as a volunteer. With the full support of MCE, I will join the Team Ireland media team at the Games in L.A. next summer. Whilst there, I will feed back stories to Irish and world media on our local athletes as they compete on a global stage, ensuring their efforts get the attention they so deserve.
My road to L.A 2015 starts now, as in order to take my place as a volunteer and to fulfill my pledge to support the Special Olympics Ireland programme, I must raise close to £4,000.
Over the next five to six months, I will host lots of fundraising events to help me reach my fundraising goal. I’ll post more details about those here in due course.
In the meantime, you can find out more about my fundraising efforts and make a donation here. All donations, however small, will be very gratefully received, particularly as my first installment is due before Christmas…
It’s a daunting challenge and there’s a lot of money to raise but I know it will be worth the effort in the long run, giving me the opportunity to do something that will be hugely personally rewarding and worthwhile.
In addition to monetary donations, I will have a number of events in the New Year, which will all require ballots in aid of my fundraising efforts, so I will be so grateful for any donations of prizes that companies may be willing to offer. I’ll also be enlisting the help of friends, family & colleagues in various guises from sandwich & tea making to cake baking, pub quiz compering & DJing (as well as attending events), so do let me know if you’d like to/can get involved. And, if you have an idea for a fundraiser you could help me with, please get in touch.
There’s no way I can do this on my own, so I would like to say a sincere thank you in advance to everyone that will help me on my road to LA 2015, to be part of this very special once in a lifetime event.
LA 2015 already has some well-known supporters – here’s US President, Barack Obama’s official welcome to the Games earlier this year:
And another great video from LA 2015 Games HQ that really captures the essence of what the Special Olympics World Games is all about: