Special Olympics gala hails athletes and volunteers

Lisburn 2gether Special Olympics Club recently held its Gala Awards ceremony in Lagan Valley Island.

The annual event is to celebrate the success of athletes and acknowledge both them and volunteers for the dedication and commitment to their sport and club.

Front, from left, Ken Duncan  IFA Coach, The Right Worshipful the Mayor Cllr Andrew Ewing, Denise Watson Sports Journalist, Lorraine Foster Lisburn 2gether Special Olympics Club Chairperson; back row l-r Brendan Courtney, Lisburn City Council, Jim Kirkwood Honorary Chairperson, Deputy Mayor Cllr Thomas Beckett, Anne Crosbie Tata Steel Services Centre and Alderman Paul Porter

Front, from left, Ken Duncan IFA Coach, The Right Worshipful the Mayor Cllr Andrew Ewing, Denise Watson Sports Journalist, Lorraine Foster Lisburn 2gether Special Olympics Club Chairperson; back row l-r Brendan Courtney, Lisburn City Council, Jim Kirkwood Honorary Chairperson, Deputy Mayor Cllr Thomas Beckett, Anne Crosbie Tata Steel Services Centre and Alderman Paul Porter

The host for the evening was Denise Watson, sports journalist and presenter, who was a great hit with athletes and guests alike.

Bocce athletes received their awards from Jim Kirkwood, Gold Medallist and honorary chairperson of the club. Football awards were presented by Ken Duncan, IFA coach. Deputy Mayor Cllr Thomas Beckett presented the badminton awards and Mayor Cllr Andrew Ewing presented the Swimming Awards.

The Right Worshipful the Mayor Cllr Andrew Ewing also presented Volunteer of the Year Shield to Kenny Roberts, swimming coach and was accepted on his behalf by Sarah Muldrew.

The evening was also a celebration of athletes who competed in bocce, football, badminton and swimming at club and national level.

Athletes not only competed in Northern Ireland but also travelled to Scotland, Belgium and Limerick bringing back gold and silver medals.

The club has one football athlete, Christopher Kane, who is currently training in Dublin and will travel to Los Angeles in June as part of Team Ireland to take part in Special Olympics World Games. Willie McMillan will also travel to Los Angles as Head Badminton Coach to Team Ireland and the club wishes both Christopher and Willie good luck for their forthcoming trip.

The ceremony was a great success and enjoyed by all with particular thanks being conveyed by chairperson Lorraine Foster to special guests, sponsors, athletes, volunteers and committee for their continued support of the club.

If you would like to get involved as an athlete or volunteer contact Helen Mahood, club secretary on 07742718372.