Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Ulster athletes in Games glory with medals galore

Winners: Team Ulster athletes Kathleen McLoone, Cherie Doherty, Brid Thomas and Tracey Murphy enjoy an ice cream yesterday after medal-winning performances at the Special Olympics in Limerick
Winners: Team Ulster athletes Kathleen McLoone, Cherie Doherty, Brid Thomas and Tracey Murphy enjoy an ice cream yesterday after medal-winning performances at the Special Olympics in Limerick

Ulster athletes travelled home with a stunning haul of over 250 medals from the Special Olympics in Limerick.

Some 241 Ulster athletes competed in the Special Olympics, which were held over the weekend and had a total of 1500 competitors, making it one of the biggest sporting events in Ireland this year.

Ulster were represented in 14 sports including athletics, aquatics, badminton, basketball, bowling, equestrianism, football, golf, gymnastics, kayaking, pitch and putt and table tennis.

A selection process for the Irish contingent for the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles will now take place in August.

The 2014 Games, supported by Eircom, had over 3000 volunteers while 600 coaches were involved.

Thousands of spectators supported the athletes at the University of Limerick and other venues across the city and beyond.

Shaun Cassidy, regional director Special Olympics Ulster, said: "For many of our 241 Team Ulster athletes, the Special Olympics in Limerick represented their first chance to compete on a national stage – to represent their region at these prestigious games is in itself a phenomenal achievement.

"Our congratulations go to all of the athletes that took part and represented Ulster so well.

"Bringing home over 250 medals from a competition of this level is no mean feat.

"I would also like to thank all the families, coaches and volunteers from Ulster, who all played a very important role," he said.

Matt English, CEO Special Olympics Ireland, said: "I would like to thank the athletes for their amazing endeavours over the course of the three days, as well as their families and supporters that turned out in amazing numbers."

For Games' news and results, follow Special Olympics Ireland and Special Olympics Ulster on twitter, @SOIreland @SO_Ulster or Facebook, www.facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsIreland using the hashtag, #SOGames2014 and visit www.flickr.com/specialolympicsireland

For further information about Special Olympics Ireland, visit www.specialolympics.ie

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