The progressive role of organisations such as the Cork Sports Partnership and the SportsAbility Forum in promoting physical activity and sport for people with disabilities was highlighted in the opening remarks by Michael Crowley, Coordinator and Aisling Drea, Sports Inclusion Disability Officer of the Cork Local Sports Partnership.
The event was attended and addressed by Kathleen Lynch TD Minister of State with the responsibility for Disability, Equality and Mental Health, Deputy Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald and Deputy County Mayor Derry Canty.
The day was also made extra special when a few of Munster's sporting hero's dropped in and took time to meet as many of the participants as possible. A special word of thanks to Scott Deasy, Ian Nagle and Tom Gleeson (Munster Rugby) and Donna Hughes and Nicola Scully (Munster Rugby Women's Team & Highfield RFC). The Munster Players trying their hand at "wheelchair rugby" will live long in the memory of all those who attended.
An impressive range of displays and activities were on show. The day kicked off at 12pm with sports demonstrations from the Rebel Wheelers who show-cased wheelchair hurling, Soccer and Power Soccer from the FAI and a Yoga session from YogaWorks, Cobh. This was followed by impressive demonstrations by Fermoy Wheelchair Karate Club and Floor Ball from Special Olympics. The flow of activities continued in the afternoon which included Table Tennis from BeechHill Table Tennis Club, Wheelchair Basketball, Archery, Boccia, Taekwan-Do, Modern Dance, Cricket, and Tandem Cycling among others.
CIT was a hive of activity with many organisations displaying stands on the day which not only proved a great opportunity for membership recruitment but also networking among disability organisations in Cork. Among these represented were The COPE Foundation, Irish Wheelchair Association-Sport, Special Olympics Munster, Surf to Heal, The Irish Guide Dogs, Brainwave (Irish Epilepsy Association), Irish Disabled Sailing Association, Paracyling Ireland and Cork Autism Sports Together to mention a few.
"The Cork Sports Partnership would like to sincerely thank CIT for the use of their facilities, The Order of Malta for providing First Aid on the day and to all the volunteers that helped make the day such a success. We hope that all who attended learned something new from their experience and realised that Sport really is for Everyone!" said Aisling Drea, Sports Inclusion Disability Officer, Cork Local Sports Partnership.
Tom Gleeson, Ian Nagle and Scott Deasy and Munster Women players Donna Hughes and Nicola Scully with participants at the SportsAbility Day in CIT
Ian Nagle and Nicola Scully take part in a game of Wheelchair Rugby