Special Olympics club ‘bowled’ over by support from Power NI

Special Olympics club, Lisburn2gether has secured a £1000 Brighter Communities award to help them purchase additional equipment for athletes taking part in a range of sports including ten pin bowling and bocce.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 12:00 pm
Chair Lorraine Foster (L), Bowling Head Coach David Hilland (R) and Aoife Magennis from Power NI (middle) alongside athletes and volunteers from Lisburn2gether Special Olympics Club at Lisburn Bowl. A Brighter Communities funding grant from Power NI is enabling the club to purchase additional equipment for athletes.

Over 80 athletes and around 30 volunteers take part in weekly training sessions encompassing football, swimming, badminton, ten pin bowling as well as bocce (a form of lawn bowls) which featured as the club’s first sport back in 2003.

Chair, Lorraine Foster says: “With many of our athletes falling into high-risk groups, Special Olympics has additional measures in place to ensure the safety of our athletes and this has meant that our athletes have had to wait longer than most to return to the sports they love.  

“We are using our Power NI Brighter Communities grant to buy equipment which will help our athletes return to training ensuring that all our sports can be enjoyed in a safe and enjoyable environment.”

(L-R) Power NI’s Aoife Magennis alongside Chair of Lisburn2gether Special Olympics Club Lorraine Foster and Bowling Head Coach David Hilland at Lisburn Bowl who are celebrating receiving a £1000 Brighter Communities grant.

Lisburn2gether was formed in 2003 and officially launched in 2004 to give those with a learning disability in the Lisburn and surrounding area the opportunity to participate in their chosen sport.

“The club has grown in strength since its inception and with volunteers supporting our athletes we see them gaining in confidence and improving their skills week on week. Many of our athletes have gone on to participate in area, regional, Ireland and ultimately Special Olympics World Games and we are hugely proud of each and every one of them. We are thrilled to receive this vital support from Power NI.”

Congratulating Lisburn2gether Ashleigh O’Neill from Power NI says: “The Special Olympics ‘family’ does tremendous work here on the island of Ireland and worldwide and it’s a privilege to support a local grass roots Special Olympics club who are doing such fantastic work. It’s wonderful to help the group get back to full training sessions and we wish everyone success for the future.”

Power NI first introduced the Brighter Communities initiative back in April 2018. Since then it has supported a huge range of bespoke groups and clubs from wheelchair basketball, beekeepers, vintage cyclists and young cheerleaders to street soccer, dragon racers, Early Years, environmental and stroke recovery groups.