Nine Galway athletes will be heading to Athens next week as part of the Irish team competing in the 2011 Special Olympics World Games, which begin on June 25.
The team will participate in 12 sports – aquatics, athletics, badminton, bocce, bowling, equestrian, football, golf, artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, kayaking, table tennis. Three 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.
Team Ireland will be supported by a team of 49 volunteer coaches and management team, as they participate in the World Summer Games.
The Galway athletes competing are footballers Christina Kelly, Emma Finneran, Fionnuala Treacy (Creagh Training Centre ), and Linda Cannon (Loughrea Training Centre ); golfer Denise Flattery (Athenry Fairways Special Olympics Club ); basketball player Gary Cunningham (Galway Tribes Special Olympics Club ); John Loughnane (Ballinasloe Eagles Special Olympics Club ); Jonathon Griffin (Corrib Bowling Club ) and kayaker Ruairí O’Toole from An Spidéal.
Mary Davis, managing director of Special Olympics Europe-Eurasia will attend an Oíche Cheoil agus Siamsaíochta in Park Lodge Hotel, An Spidéal, tomorrow, Friday June 17, to honour the athletes. Tickets, priced at €5, can be bought in local shops in An Spidéal, or may be purchased at the door. All proceeds will go to Special Olympics Ireland.