Sean Campbell, who was at a special reception hosted by the US Consul General in Belfast for athletes heading to the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles (LA2015).  Picture by Elaine Hill.
Sean Campbell, who was at a special reception hosted by the US Consul General in Belfast for athletes heading to the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles (LA2015). Picture by Elaine Hill.

There was plenty of celebrating in Coleraine over the weekend with the news Sean Campbell had won silver at the Special Olympics World Summer Games.

Coleraine man Sean folllowed up his sixth placed finish in the team Ten Pin Bowls event with silver in the individual event.

The news was greeted with great celebration in Coleraine.

All the staff at the Jet Centre passed on their congratulations to Sean.

The 30-year-old has been a valued team member at the Coleraine entertainment centre for the past four years and practices regularly after work at the centre’s bowling alley, Superstrikes. He also trains with the Special Olympics team every Monday at the Jet Centre.

“We are all thrilled for Sean; it’s great to see his hard work and dedication have paid off at the Los Angeles games. We were all cheering for him and it’ll be brilliant to welcome him back home,” said Jet Centre Manager Wanda Donnan.

Superstrikes bowling manager Eugene O’Kane said: “Sean is a great bowler and Team Ireland have been fantastic. The Special Olympics team train every Monday night on all 14 lanes here at the Jet Centre throughout the year. But Sean is so determined that he spends extra time in training and he’s achieved so much.”

Local MLA Claire Sugden also passed on her best wishes.

“I am incredibly delighted by, and proud of, Coleraine’s Sean Campbell who has won a silver medal for Ten Pin Bowling at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles,” she told Times Sport.

“Sean traveled to America as one of twelve Ulster athletes competing in the Special Olympics as part of Team Ireland. He is the only athlete representing Coleraine.

“I am extremely proud that Coleraine is the most successful Olympic town in Northern Ireland, to date. I’m tempted to say it’s one of the most successful in the world!

“Sean’s accomplishment add to our growing Olympic legacy following the success of the Bann rowers in the 2012 Olympic Games.

“Yet again Northern Ireland’s talent is being showcased on a world stage. I look forward to welcoming Sean back to his home town where I’m sure the celebrations will continue!”

The Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has congratulated Team Ireland on an incredible performance in Los Angeles.

The team won 86 medals, 26 of which were gold in the Games which attracted athletes from throughout the world.

In congratulating the team on their success, the Minister said: “This has been a highly successful Games for Team Ireland and I congratulate all the athletes on their efforts. They have done everyone proud and I also commend their coaches, their families and the many volunteers who have worked collectively to make events such as this possible.

“Team Ireland performed strongly throughout the Games, securing medals from day one right through to the end, with an incredible six gold, six silver and five bronze being won on the final day of competition. Overall the team won 26 gold, 29 silver and 31 bronze medals, as well as 43 placement ribbons. Team Ireland athletes also recorded 31 personal bests, meaning they truly brought their ‘A’ game when it counted.

“The 88 Team Ireland participants and their amazing efforts in Los Angeles are an inspiration to everyone in society.”

The Minister made particular reference to the athletes from Special Olympics Ulster that are part of Team Ireland. She said: “Each of the 12 Special Olympics Ulster athletes who participated put in great performances and between them won an amazing 19 medals. Sarah Jane Johnston from Lurgan had the honour of winning Ireland’s first medal of the Games when she took bronze in the 100m backstroke swimming competition, before taking a further bronze on day two, while Belfast gymnast Kirsty Devlin was the first Team Ireland competitor to secure gold. Kirsty won two gold and two silver medals in total, while 15-year-old equestrian competitor Déarbháil Savage from Mowhan, County Armagh, the team’s youngest participant, won two gold medals and one silver.

“Carole Catling from Newtownabbey won gold in the table tennis and Nuala Browne of Strabane, who took silver in the kayaking. Golfers Jill Connery of Scarva, Ursula McDonnell of Belfast and Oliver Doherty of Buncrana each secured silver medals. And completing the medal haul from the Special Olympics Ulster squad were Coleraine 10 pin bowler Sean Campbell with silver and Patrick Quinlivan of Letterkenny who took an amazing four bronze medals in gymnastics.

“I and my Department are committed to inclusivity and a culture of lifelong enjoyment and success in sport. It is for people of all abilities and ages and I trust that the wonderful achievements of these athletes will inspire more people, particularly from under-represented groups, to see the value and benefits of participation in sport and physical recreation.”