Local athletes prepare for LA games

Christopher Kane, Football 5, Lisburn Together Special Olympics Club. Picture: Piaras O Midheach / SPORTSFILE
Christopher Kane, Football 5, Lisburn Together Special Olympics Club. Picture: Piaras O Midheach / SPORTSFILE

A number of local athletes are getting set to compete on the world stage, having been selected to compete for Team Ireland at the Special Olympics World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015.

Christopher Kane aged 19, a football athlete from Lisburn and Kirsty Devlin aged 21, a rhythmic gymnast athlete from Belfast are amongst 88 Team Ireland athletes that will travel to Los Angeles to compete at the World Games this summer.

Kirsty Devlin, who trains at Salto Gymnastics Club. Picture: Piaras O Midheach / SPORTSFILE

Kirsty Devlin, who trains at Salto Gymnastics Club. Picture: Piaras O Midheach / SPORTSFILE

Christopher, who trains at Lisburn Together Special Olympics Club and Kirsty, who trains at Salto Gymnastics Club are amongst 12 Ulster athletes that will compete as part of Team Ireland.

With just six months until the World Games kick off, the Ulster delegation are now beginning their preparations and training for the Games, which take place in LA between July 25 - August 2.

This summer, the iconic city of Los Angeles will welcome 7,000 athletes from 177 countries to the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games.

Supported by over 30,000 volunteers, the Games will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015.

To cover the cost of sending Team Ireland to the Games, Special Olympics needs to raise £343,848 (€440,000).

The organisation will be reaching out to businesses and companies over the coming weeks and months to seek pledges of support for its Support an Athlete programme.

Shaun Cassidy, regional director, Special Olympics Ulster said: “2015 is shaping up to be a huge year for our athletes.

“It’s a tremendous achievement for our local athletes including Christopher, Carole, Kirsty and Ursula to be selected to represent Team Ireland at LA 2015.”