As the final countdown for the Special Olympics Ireland Games in Dublin gets under way, a series of Torch Run events are taking place across Ireland.
Two Donegal schools will have the honour of hosting the ‘Flame of Hope’ when it is brought to the county today (Wednesday).
There will be much excitement at Dooish National School, Ballybofey and Little Angels in Letterkenny when the famous torch arrives as part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, organised by An Garda Síochána and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
The Ireland Games 2018 Opening Ceremony will take place in at Tallaght Stadium, Dublin on the evening of Thursday 14th June. Three full days competition will follow, with a closing ceremony on Sunday 17th June tying off proceedings, before athletes travel back to their hometowns and cities across Ireland.
1,600 Special Olympics athletes from across Ireland will participate in the Special Olympics Ireland Games in 13 sports and Motor Activities Training. The athletes will be supported by 600 coaches and official delegates and 2,500 volunteers.
The Games are set to be one of the largest and most prestigious sporting events to take place in Ireland in 2018 and selected athletes from these Games will go on to represent Team Ireland at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.
During the weekend of the Games, various cultural and entertainment items will be organised, giving athletes, families, volunteers and the public an opportunity to experience a true Olympics-style event. The athletes will also be able to avail of a Healthy Athlete Screening Programme and participate in other health related activities throughout the weekend.
Special Olympics Ireland is a year-round sports training and competition programme for people with an intellectual disability. The benefits of participation in Special Olympics extend beyond the physical benefits of sport; it’s about team spirit, friendships and fun; it’s about a feeling of belonging and a sense of being part of a community.
Special Olympics changes lives in so many different ways, enabling people with an intellectual disability to achieve and win not only in sport but in life too.
You can keep up to date with the news on the Special Olympics Ireland Games 2018 on Twitter, following @SOIreland and the hashtag, #IrelandGames.