Cantstopnow

Special Olympics Can't Stop Now Appeal

This year, we can’t have volunteers shaking buckets on the street to fund Special Olympics, but like our athletes, we #CantStopNow

Special Olympics athletes have come so far. Many have overcome things they were told they can’t do…make friends, swim, ride a bike, go to university, get a job, get Gold for their country and much, much more! The only thing they can’t do is Stop!

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Anna Kilmartin

ANNA CAN'T STOP NOW

You could be forgiven for thinking that there are some things that 8 year old Anna Kilmartin doesn’t understand. But the only thing that Anna doesn’t understand is the word can’t.

Despite being told she can’t ride a bike Anna was one of the youngest people with Down Syndrome ever
to learn to do so. And thanks to the support of her family and Special Olympics Ireland she didn’t stop
there either. Anna has since taken to riding horses and playing basketball.

You see there’s almost nothing that people with down syndrome can’t do once they realise that can’t is nothing more than a four-letter word.

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Luck Weadock

SORRY, LUKE CAN'T UNDERSTAND CAN'T

Luke Weadock’s parents worried about him. How will he ever take part in team sports? In school? They were told he can’t communicate, lacked motor skills and would struggle to interact with others. But neither Luke, still only 6 years old, nor his parents are the sort of people that believe in can’t.
Instead Luke joined Titanic Tigers Special Olympics Club last year.

The Tigers expose children to a wide variety of play activities in a familiar, supportive and fun environment where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. The benefits of which go beyond sports, setting these
children up with skills that allow them to thrive in life. Luke has since also joined a local football club and is now scoring goals as well as achieving them.

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Aisling Beacom

TELL AISLING SHE CAN'T...

And you can be sure she’ll do it. For most people, two hip replacement operations would mean you can’t compete anymore. But can’t means nothing to Aisling and her mum Pam.

Can’t train locally? They set up their own Special Olympics club.
Can’t live independently? They got Aisling her own flat.
Can’t get a job? Aisling works in a local hospital now.

And can’t compete at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games after hip replacement surgery?

Well, you can probably guess what happened next...

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Aswin Maliyakal

ASHWIN CAN'T STOP NOW

Ashwin was born in India. Thriving despite his special needs meant everything to his parents.
So, when they discovered Special Olympics Ireland they knew that sport was how Ashwin
could thrive in life. And there was only one place in the world where they wanted to raise their
son.

Ireland is full of people like the Maliyakals who won’t accept that there’s something that they
can’t do. But Special Olympics Ireland needs your help to keep Ashwin and other athletes like
him running, competing and thriving across the island of Ireland. They’ve come so far, they
can’t stop now. 

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Margaret Turley

A LITTLE HELP CAN GO A LONG WAY

There was a time in Margaret’s life when she might have thought – I can’t go to university. But that was a long time ago. Because thanks to Special Olympics, Margaret no longer believes in can’t. After all, she ended up studying at not just any university but Trinity College, Dublin.

It was through Special Olympics and the friends she made playing basketball that she gained confidence and started to enjoy a social life. Eventually, she even took part in the Athlete Leadership programme, going on to inspire a new generation of athletes.

You see, there’s nothing that people with additional needs can’t do with just a little help.

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Edel Armstrong

EDEL'S NOT LIKE MOST PEOPLE

Most people can’t swim a mile at sea. But then Edel is not most people.

Thanks to the support of her family, friends, and teachers and the confidence she gained at Special Olympics, there is nothing she can’t do. Edel has represented Team Ireland on the world stage, and works hard at her local Pita Pitt.

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Damien Flynn

EVER HEARD OF DAMIEN FLYNN?

You will. And if you’re from Cabinteely in Dublin, you probably already have.
Maybe from his 15 years playing for Cabinteely Special Olympics Club. You might have seen his Polar Plunge
in the paper. Perhaps you’ve seen him lead a sing-song. Or maybe you just bought something from him in Centra.

You see Damien’s come a long way from when he was young and on life support. His parents were told that their son can’t play sport.

The only thing he can’t do these days is stop scoring goals. And celebrating them.