Camogie legend Anna Geary has urged the public to get behind Special Olympics today (Friday) on what is the sport charity’s nationwide Collection Day.
Geary, a highly decorated GAA star, is backing Special Olympics Ireland’s big Collection Day, which is proudly supported by long time sponsor eir. eir employees will be helping with collections around the country, while players from the WGPA will also be out in force around the country today supporting the fundraising efforts.
Every cent counts for Special Olympics today as the charity seeks to raise €650,000 in just 24 hours. The money will be used to support the programme of sports and training that Special Olympics offers to 9,100 athletes in 360 clubs around the country. 3,000 volunteers will be shaking buckets over the course of the today at over 250 collection points in Ireland 9 of which are in Donegal – Donegal Town, Letterkenny, Gweedore, Dungloe, Ballybofey, Ballyshannon, Ardara, Killybegs, Buncrana
Special Olympics long-time corporate sponsor eir, is supporting the charity as the premier sponsor of the Collection Day once again this year. Carolan Lennon, Wholesale Managing Director open eir said: “Collection Day is the main fundraising initiative for Special Olympics Ireland. This day will bring in vital funds for the charity, ensuring they can continue to offer their sports and training services in cities, towns and villages all across Ireland. eir employees, from Belfast to Cork, will be on the streets in their local communities raising much needed funds for Special Olympics Ireland.
“That money will ensure that Special Olympics Ireland continues to meet their central objective. That every person in Ireland, with an intellectual disability, has the opportunity to participate in sport, to develop new skills, make new friends, and become the best they can be,” she added.
2016 is an exciting year for Special Olympics Ireland as the organisation rolls out its island-wide area events competition programme, which sees athletes progress from one level of competition to the next. In addition to competition, a range of training and other opportunities are available for athletes through Sports Development days and a wide range of leagues in 6 sports (athletics, aquatics, basketball, bocce, bowling and football).
The WGPA isn’t the only sports organisation to show its support for Special Olympics this Collection Day. The Gaelic Players Association and the Irish Athletic Boxing Association have also added their support to the fundraising efforts. Aer Lingus, a longtime supporter of Special Olympics, will also run collections on 185 flights today in support of Collection Day.
Matt English, CEO with Special Olympics Ireland, added: “Special Olympics is truly fortunate to have such fantastically loyal and dedicated supporters, from volunteers out shaking buckets to businesses from the corporate world such as eir and Aer Lingus to whom we are very grateful for their on-going support. It is also heartening for everyone at Special Olympics to have the Women’s Gaelic Players Association, the Gaelic Players Association and the Irish Athletic Boxing Association support us this Collection Day. I am hoping that the general public comes out to support us in whatever way they can this Collection Day. Every single euro really does make a difference to our athletes.