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15/02/2017 09:34 RssIcon

With less than one month until Team Ireland head off to compete at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria, Special Olympics has been sharing the love in the heart of Dublin and Belfast City this Valentine’s Day.

The Games, which feature the strapline ‘Heartbeat for the World’, will attract over 3,000 athletes from over 107 Countries including a 26-strong Team Ireland squad.

In perhaps the most fitting symbol for Valentine’s Day, Special Olympics Ireland installed two heart shaped ice sculptures, one in the heart of Temple Bar and one at Belfast City Hall and  asked people ‘What makes your heart beat?’ Their answers may just make you melt…

Writing on a large blackboard at Templebar Square, people pledged their love for everything from coffee to kebabs, chicken and beer to their wives, girlfriends, husbands, children, grandchildren and everything in-between!

The activity was designed to raise awareness of Special Olympics Ireland ‘Support an Athlete’ campaign, which aims to raise funds for athletes travelling to compete in the Special Olympics World Winter Games in March.


As the countdown to the Games enters its final month, Special Olympics Ireland is calling on local businesses to get behind Team Ireland by pledging their financial assistance to the Support an Athlete programme. 

To cover the cost of sending Team Ireland to the World Winter Games 2017, Special Olympics Ireland needs to raise €3,000 per athlete. A company can choose to support one athlete, many athletes or make a donation of their choice. Through this campaign, athletes will realise their dreams of representing Ireland on the world sports stage.

More information and the option to support the team can be found at  http://www.specialolympics.ie/WAYSTOGIVE/SupportanAthlete2017.aspx

Commenting after the event, Matt English, CEO, Special Olympics Ireland said; “Our Team Ireland athletes are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to compete on the world stage at the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 and are enjoying the build-up now the countdown is well under way.

“We are working hard to generate the funds to make this experience everything it should be for our athletes. Having the support of local businesses and corporate donors will make a huge difference to our athletes on this exciting journey.”

To keep up to date with Special Olympics Ireland and Team Ireland’s build up to #Austria2017, follow the organisation on Twitter, @SOIreland and on Facebook www.facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsIreland

Athlete Nicole Redmond sharing what makes her heart beat in Temple Bar, Dublin

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