Monday (March 21st) saw the official launch of the countywide fundraising campaign for Kilkenny’s Special Olympics team before their impending trip to Athens for the 2011 Summer World Games.
Kilkenny’s three proud athletes sat in pride of place during the celebrations, looked on as local heros. Diarmaid O’Flynn (27), member of Kilkenny’s Special Olympics club, was happy to tell all present of his excitement in taking part in his swimming events. Ciara Trait (19), member of the S.O.S scheme, and also one of Kilkenny’s celebrated swimmers was equally as jubilant as part of the 126 strong Irish team set for Athens. Participation was especially improtant for Kilkenny’s 24 year-old Bocca player, Connor Ryan, also member of Kilkenny’s Special Olympics Club, who said he would be dedicating his performance in the games to his partner who unfortunately didn’t qualify for the final rounds. Celebrities in their own right, all in attendance wanted to have their time with the talented athletes.
Music at the event was catered for by the wonderful Kilkenny Gospel Choir, who provided ambient, cheerful songs throughout proceedings.
126 athletes from all over Ireland, joined by a team of 49 coaches and over 200 volunteers will be journeying to Athens this summer, where they will face competition of over 7,500 athletes from 185 countries across the globe, taking part in 12 of the games 26 sports.
April 15th was announced as the date for the countywide fundraising campaign, when Kilkenny Special Olympics’ team of devoted volunteers will hit the pavements of Kilkenny, from High Street to Loughboy, to MacDonagh Junction and the Parade. The team will also be collecting across Gowran, Thomastown, Callan, Castlecomer, Ballyhale, and Graignamanagh in an attempt to hit their target of one million euros.
Sgt. Gary Gordon, Garda Liason officer will also be bringing back his highly successful Cops on Donut Shops campaign, this time to Carlow City.