Polar plunge 2021

Special Olympics Polar Plunge event returns for 2021!

05 Nov 2021
Press Releases

Special Olympics Ireland is calling on you to get freezin for a reason and take the Plunge for local athletes.

Sandycove Pier is set to host the Special Olympics Polar Plunge and you’re invited to join in and plunge into the Christmas season on Saturday 4th December from 11 am and help support local athletes get back to the sport they love.

Having missed out on holding this sell-out event last year, Special Olympics is delighted that its long-term charity partner, Gala Retail, has come on board to help make this year’s event bigger and better than ever.

International soccer player and Special Olympics ambassador, Stephanie Roche was on hand to help launch the event today and said;

“I’m here at Sandycove Pier today and have just had a trial run of the Polar Plunge and it’s so much fun.  It is a shock to the system when you first enter the cold water, but the buzz afterward is amazing. I’m nominating my football teammates to take on this cold-water challenge and get freezing for a reason.”

A donation of €25 will gain you access to the coolest event of the year as well as an exclusive Polar Plunge T-shirt. Don’t worry if you can’t make the event on December 4th.  This year you can do your own plunge at a beach, lake or river to suit you. Sign up online, nominate friends and share your photos with us on social!

All proceeds will go towards helping children and adults with an intellectual disability get back to their sport, clubs, and friends.

Special Olympics ambassador, Stephanie Roche was joined at the launch by CEO of Gala Retail, Gary Desmond and Special Olympics athletes including Edel Armstrong, who converted from pool swimming to open water swimming during the pandemic.

Speaking at the launch event, CEO of Gala Retail, Gary Desmond said:

“As a platinum sponsor of Special Olympics Ireland, Gala Retail is thrilled to extend our partnership to support the Polar Plunge this year. Having focused so much on isolating over the past 18 months, we hope to see a community of plungers taking part in the event at Sandycove or taking part virtually at their own local beach, pier, pool or lake; nominating others on social media, raising funds for Special Olympics Ireland and making this the biggest Polar Plunge ever!

“Meeting athletes like Edel here today brings it home how much the isolation in recent times has affected the lives of Special Olympics athletes and how valuable fundraising events like the Polar Plunge are. Edel’s club is starting to open back up now and it’s clear from speaking with her that she is not only enjoying the physical benefits of being back to training with her club but the social ones too.”

Special Olympics athlete, Edel Armstrong, was also at today’s launch event. 

“I love swimming but the pool at my club was closed for much of the pandemic so I started open water swimming in places like Sandycove, it kept me going physically but nothing can replace being with my teammates at my club. It has been great seeing them again. I call on everyone to support this fundraising event by signing up today. Who knows, you might enjoy the water more than you know.”

If the live event on December 4th doesn’t suit, you also have the option of taking on your own virtual plunge at your nearest beach, lake or even your bath or shower. For this we are challenging you to put on your festive gear and sing two verses of Jingle Bells whilst doing your icy dip! Believe us; it’s harder than you think. Spread the word and get more people “freezin for a reason” by sharing on social media and nominating friends to take part. Search Polar Plunge, Special Olympics Ireland or Gala Retail on your Instagram stickers to help raise awareness.

We nominate you to challenge yourself and your friends or family to experience the exhilaration of plunging into icy cold sea water. Are you brave enough?

This event would not be possible without the support of our platinum sponsor, Gala Retail.