Annual Collection Day:
Friday 20th April

Almost 3,000 volunteers and many companies, schools and community groups took part in Collection Day, helping us to raise a phenomenal €500,000. These funds are vital to our year round programme.



Special Olympics Ireland Summer Games: 14th to 17th June

1,600 athletes, 600 coaches, 2,500 volunteers and over 3,000 family members and supporters all gathered in Dublin this June for the Ireland Games.

The Games were preceded by a Torch Run Programme which was supported by An Garda Síochána and the Police Service of Northern Ireland. The Torch visited a number of schools throughout Ireland helping to spread awareness
and raise funds.

We were also honoured that the Games were officially opened by President Michael D. Higgins at the Opening Ceremony in Tallaght Stadium on Thursday, 13th June. We experienced three packed days of inspirational sporting competition resulting in medals, personal bests, memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.



Check out all the video highlights from the Games here

 


Largest Healthy Athlete programme offered at Ireland Games

During the Ireland Games our Healthy Athlete Programme offered education, screening and advice for the athletes in the areas of Health Promotion, Special Smiles, Fit Feet, Opening Eyes, Healthy Hearing, FUNFitness and Strong Minds.

Strong Minds is a new discipline that teaches athletes relaxation and stress management skills. During the Ireland Games there were many high-profile visitors to the Healthy Athlete marquee including Minister of Health Simon Harris, who was extremely impressed with the comprehensive service, offered to our athletes. You can find out more about Minister Harris’ visit to the Ireland Games in June in this video.

 


All Ireland Athlete Leadership Forum: October

The very first All Ireland Athlete Forum took place in October bringing together athletes from all 5 of our regions for the first time.

The Athlete Forum gives our athletes the opportunity to develop life and leadership skills such as public speaking, interview and social media skills.

Newstalks Henry McKean and former athlete and board member Claire Adams hosted the event. World Boxing Champion, Kellie Harrington and Irish Hockey player Ali Meeke were among the special guests. Most importantly, Leinster Athlete, Andrew Byrne was elected as athlete representative to the Special Olympics Ireland Board. This Forum will now take place every two years.

Check out more photographs from the day.


 


610 New Athletes 
 We extend a very warm welcome to the 610 new athletes who joined our programme this year.
These and many more athletes like them will train in their clubs on a weekly basis all year round.
We wish our clubs a Merry Christmas as they prepare for a well deserved break.


Young Athletes Programme update
 Our Young Athletes Programme continued to grow and there are now 124 athletes in 12 clubs.
 You can find photos from our latest Young Athlete Club launch here.

Special Olympics Ireland turned 40 this year!
Since opening our doors in 1978 we have helped thousands of athletes
transform their lives through sport. A Ruby Anniversary Ball was held in
October in the prestigious Intercontinental Hotel attended by over 350
people.

A huge thank you to the ball committee for organising this fantastic event
and to all the businesses and individuals that contributed.

Check out the photographs from this fantastic evening.

Special Olympics International celebrated their 50th Anniversary! 
225 global landmarks lit up red for inclusion in July. A celebratory event was
also held in Chicago’s Wrigley Stadium. Chicago is the birth place of the first
International Summer Games. There are now over 5 million Special Olympics
athletes worldwide! 
Check out photos from some of the buildings in Ireland that took part.