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Munster To Honour Special Olympics Athletes

1st September 2015 By Munster Rugby

Munster To Honour Special Olympics Athletes

In recognition of their outstanding achievements at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, Munster Rugby is delighted to welcome the 13 Munster athletes and their coaches to this Saturday’s Guinness PRO12 opener against Benetton Treviso.

In recognition of their outstanding achievements at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, Munster Rugby is delighted to welcome the 13 Munster athletes and their coaches to this Saturday’s Guinness PRO12 opener against Benetton Treviso.

In total, 88 athletes represented Ireland at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games; the largest sporting and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015. The Games opened on the evening of July 25th, with a star-studded Opening Ceremony at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum where Team Ireland was met by a rapturous applause from the 90,000 spectators.

Team Ireland excelled at the World Games with Irish athletes taking home an impressive haul of 82 medals; 26 gold, 28 silver and 28 bronze. They also secured 41 placement ribbons and recorded an impressive 31 personal bests in what was one of the most successful Games in living memory.

The athletes preformed in 12 different sports including football, aquatics, basketball, badminton, gymnastics and golf among others, and for those involved, their selection to Team Ireland came after four years of training and competition. A 40-strong coaching and management team supported the athletes in Los Angeles as well as 300 family members and 150 volunteers.

Special Olympics is a year-round sports organisation for athletes with intellectual disabilities and has more than 10,000 athletes nationally with 2,500 in Munster. Through sport, athletes develop both physically and emotionally. The focus is not on disability, but on ability.

With representatives from across the province, Munster Rugby look forward to welcoming the following athletes onto the Irish Independent Park pitch at half-time on Saturday night.

Cork
Laura Ahern: Gold (Gymnastics)
Aoife O’Sullivan: Gold and double Bronze (Gymnastics)
Sean Coleman: double Silver (Aquatics)
Lisa O’Brien: double Bronze (Athletics)
Colm Monahan: 5th place ribbon (Football)
Trudy Hyland: 5th place ribbon (Golf)

Tipperary
Kelly Delaney: Silver and Bronze (Badminton)
Rachel Ryan: Gold (Athletics)

Limerick
Ashleigh O’Hagan: Bronze (Gymnastics)

Clare
Paul Kirrane: Bronze (Golf)

Kerry
Brendan O’Connell: Gold (Aquatics)

Waterford
John Deevy: Gold and double Bronze (Equestrian)
Damian Kirwan: 5th place ribbon (Football)

Munster v Benetton Treviso, Guinness PRO12 Round 1, Saturday September 5th – KO 7:45pm.

Tickets can be purchased online here, from the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices at Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park, or by calling 0818 719 300.

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