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First Special Olympics Ulster event in three years takes place

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Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey is pictured awarding medals to athletes at a Special Olympics Ulster event in Antrim Forum

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey is pictured awarding medals to athletes at a Special Olympics Ulster event in Antrim Forum

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey is pictured awarding medals to athletes at a Special Olympics Ulster event in Antrim Forum

More than 80 athletes have competed in the first Special Olympics Ulster event to take place since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Participants from across the province were involved in the two-day track and field events, and were supported by a team of volunteers, coaches and family.

Communities minister Deirdre Hargey presented gold medals to winners at the Antrim Forum on Saturday.

“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,” she said.

“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.

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“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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