Special Olympics Ireland
special Olympics Provides Year-round sports traning and athletic competition to 1 millon people with Learning Disability in more than 150 countries
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PDF | Strategy.pdf | 395KB
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If you were looking for the World Games 2003 Web Site
please click here for an important message

Happy Anniversary!

Monday June 21, 2004 is the day Special Olympics Ireland remembers last year’s Special Olympics World Summer Games, celebrates the rich legacy left and looks the future.


There are lots of activities happening all across the island of Ireland to mark the day so email  if you are having an event.  We’d love to hear from you!


Come back and visit us on Monday to see the stories and the brand new Special Olympics Ireland website



The aim of Special Olympics Ireland is to expand the opportunities and resources offered by Special Olympics Ireland so that every child and adult with a learning disability has the chance, in their own community, to achieve in ways that bring life changing experiences of increased skills, confidence and joy.


Over the next four years Special Olympics  Ireland will double the number of participating athletes to 16,000 and will increase supports and services to those athletes and their families in their own communities


After all, there’s

a place for everyone!
in Special Olympics


Special Olympics  What is Special Olympics?
Special Olympics is a year round sports training and competition programme for children and adults with a learning/intellectual disability. Founded in 1968 in the United States by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the organisation has now grown to encompass over 160 countries worldwide. In Ireland, Special Olympics began in 1978. 

Special Award for Special Athletes
The Basketball Ireland Annual Awards took place on Saturday, May 29 last in the Burlington Hotel,
Dublin where this year, a Special Award was given to the members of the four Special Olympics Team Ireland basketball teams which participated in the Special Olympics World Summer Games last June. The award was presented to Anne Marie Whelan, Head Coach for Team Ireland by Tony Colgan, President of Basketball Ireland (left) and Debbie Massey, Chief Executive of Basketball Ireland (right). For more information on the awards visit www.basketballireland.ie.  Picture credit: Brendan Moran/sportsfile.com

It's a first....Special Olympics Ireland Women set to score in Luxembourg!
eircom’s Sharon O’Brien (right) with mum Phyllis Kavanagh wishing her daughter Special Olympics Ireland athlete Pamela good luck as she sets off with the first ever Special Olympics Ireland Women’s Football team, sponsored by eircom, to compete in the Eurofoot 2004 European 7-a-side Football Tournament taking place in Luxembourg. Picture credit: Brian Lawless/sportsfile.com

The Special Olympics Ireland National Women’s Football Team, sponsored by eircom, came third in the Eurofoot 2004 competition, the Special Olympics European Football Tournament which was held in Ettlebruck, Luxembourg which ended yesterday (Monday, May 31, 2004).  It is the first European 7-a-side tournament to offer competition for both male and female teams and the first time ever a National Women’s team from Ireland has participated in a European competition.

Team Ireland won all matches in the divisioning rounds beating  England, Belgium and France.  This placed them in the top Division, which was very competitive.  They then played the following teams:
Germany 3 - 1 Win for Ireland 
Denmark 0 - 1 Loss
Ukraine 1 - 3 Loss
Serbia 4 - 0 Win for Ireland 
This placed Ireland 3rd overall - taking the Bronze medal.

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Ireland National Women’s Football Team
Athletes                                 Coaches
Wendy Quinn (Dublin)              Phelim Macken (Head Coach)
Bridget O'Reilly (Dublin)            Clare Stapleton (Coach)
Pamela Kavanagh (Dublin)        Sara Phelan (Coach)
Geraldine Duff (Dublin)              June Gill (Medical/Physiotherapist)
Mary Strain (Donegal)        
Carina McCauley (Donegal)    
Rita Doherty (Mayo)
Kathleen McMeel (Limerick)
Siobhan McMahon (Tipperary)
Regina Rattigan (Meath)

Spacer How To...

How to participate as an athlete:
To be eligible to participate in Special Olympics a person must have been diagnosed by the medical profession as having a learning/intellectual disability.
Become a Volunteer:
Volunteers are the backbone of Special Olympics and are needed in many different aspects of the orga ... More

Become a Sponsor:

For over 15 years, Special Olympics Ireland has been sponsored by eircom and we also receive an annual grant from the Irish Sports Council.  
The Special Olympics Network, sponsored by Bank of Ireland...


Special Olympics Volunteer

Volunteers are the backbone of Special Olympics and are needed in many different aspects of the organisation.

Some volunteers help out with their local clubs on a weekly or daily basis, others become involved with larger events such as Regional or National Games - helping out with organising these events. Other volunteers help with fundraising, administration etc.

Click below to download an online volunteer application form.

Spacer Athlete Leadership Programme

ALP's is the Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Programme.

This Programme allows athletes to explore opportunities other than taking part in sports training and competition and empowers athletes to take on new and challenging roles. Athletes are given the opportunity to be part of local, regional and national committees, be a spokesperson, coach, official, or volunteer.

Working with a mentor, people participating in the ALP programme undertake training in order to give them the skills for the areas they are particularly interested in becoming involved in. More
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