Special Olympics Ulster Celebrates Government Funding Boost

Nov23

Written by:
23/11/2011 10:59 RssIcon

 Special Olympics Ulster has been recognised for the significant contribution it makes to the lives of people with intellectual disabilities in Northern Ireland    

Pictured at the announcement are, from left to right, Chief Executive Sport NI Eamonn McCartan, Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland, Health Minister Edwin Poots, CEO Special Olympics Ireland Matt English, Junior Minister Jonathan Bell (OFMDFM), Sports Minister Carál Ní Chulilín, Regional Director Special Olympics Ulster Shaun Cassidy and Junior Minister Martina Anderson (OFMDFM). The Pavilion, Stormont, Belfast, Co. Antrim.


Special Olympics Ulster has been recognised for the significant contribution it makes to the lives of people with intellectual disabilities in Northern Ireland, with the announcement of a four-year cross departmental funding package.

Five Government Departments – Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Department of Education, Department of Social Development and the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister have come together to agree a funding package worth £2.296m, which will be delivered through Sport Northern Ireland over the next four years.

Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and competition opportunities for people with an intellectual disability.  The Special Olympics programme is offered as an All-Ireland programme, which is sub-divided into five regional programmes - one of which is Special Olympics Ulster.

Special Olympics was established in Ulster in 1978. This is the first time in its 33 years in operation in the region that the charity has received public funding from Northern Ireland on an ongoing basis
On Tuesday 22nd November 2011, Ministers and Junior Ministers from each of the five Departments attended an event at The Pavilion, Stormont to announce the significant funding package.

Commenting after the event, Shaun Cassidy, regional director of Special Olympics Ulster said: ‘We are delighted with the decision that the Northern Ireland Assembly has made to support Special Olympics Ulster. This funding will enable us to further engage with athletes and family members; motivate and train volunteers; and encourage schools and communities to play their part in providing sporting opportunities for people with an intellectual disability. We owe a great deal of thanks to all who were engaged in our successful bid for core funding – their commitment to this opportunity will ensure that Special Olympics continues to change the lives of people with an intellectual disability within the Ulster Region’.

Matt English, Chief Executive, Special Olympics Ireland said: “This is fantastic news for Special Olympics in Northern Ireland and we are extremely grateful to the Northern Ireland Assembly for this support, which will help us to further realise our promise of changing the lives of people with an intellectual disability through sport”.

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