Over 140 athletes from across Ulster descended upon Dundonald Ice Bowl last week, each competing for the chance to represent Ulster at the Special Olympics Ireland Games next year.
Some 142 athletes from 14 Special Olympics Clubs throughout Ulster, including athletes from local club Jet Set in Coleraine, came together to compete in Special Olympics Ulster’s Regional Bowling Event. During the full day of competition, participants took part in either the singles or doubles ten pin bowling events.
As well as aiming to finish top of their division on the day, athletes were also battling it out for the chance to be selected to take part in the Special Olympics Ireland Games in 2014, which could ultimately pave the way for them to compete on the international stage at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles in 2015.
Commenting on the event, Shaun Cassidy, regional director of Special Olympics Ulster said: “To see over 140 athletes from across Ulster come together for the bowling event in Dundonald is fantastic and very significant, as it marked the start of what will be a very exciting year of sport for Special Olympics Ulster. This year we have a packed calendar of regional sporting events and we are set to see a host of competitions taking place across the region in the lead up to the Special Olympics Ireland Games in Limerick next year.
“The high standard of competition shown at the bowling event is testament to the hard work and dedication of each and every individual taking part. I would like congratulate all the athletes who competed at the bowling event and wish them continued success going forward.”
Supporting local athletes in their sporting success is central to the work of Special Olympics Ulster, which currently supports over 2,043 athletes in 98 clubs across the region. This year is particularly significant as it marks the second stage in the sporting organisation’s four year cycle, with regional competitions set to take place across Ulster in the lead up to the Special Olympics Ireland Games in 2014 and the Special Olympics World Games in 2015.
For further information on the calendar of events, how to volunteer or details of sponsorship opportunities, please contact Special Olympics Ulster on 028 90239023. Special Olympics Ulster is funded by Sport NI.