Coalisland Special Olympics club to compete in first major medal event

The Eagles Special Olympics Club in Coalisland will compete in its first major track-and-field event next weekend.

The club’s young athletes will take part in the Special Olympic Games Ulster West Regional Competition at the Templemore Stadium in Derry on Saturday, June 11.

It is the first event in a three-year campaign that could end with the athletes boarding a plane to California for the 2015 Special Olympics in Los Angeles.

Paul Sweeney, sports officer and head coach for the club, said the competition may have come too early for Coalisland’s young athletes, but they were looking forward to taking part.

He said: “The boys and girls have got a feel for the competition with invitational events in Antrim and Stranorlar but this is the big one in the clubs calendar – this one is for medals.

“We’ll give them a try and they’ll enjoy the experience. I think the team will hold their own.”

The Eagles Special Olympics Club was formed in late December last year and officially launched in April.

It aims to help adults and children over the age of eight who have learning disabilities to become more involved in the world of sport by encouraging them to take part in weekly training sessions, with the hope of advancing to the Special Olympics.

The team will leave Primate Dixon School, Coalisland on Saturday morning at 8am and travel by coach to Templemore, where the games commence at 10am.

Mr Sweeney said: “It will be a proud day for all the athletes, volunteers and committee, plus a monumental day for parents and family members. A year ago this club was only a dream and 10 months later it is very much a reality.”

The club meets every Thursday at 7pm at Primate Dixon Primary School.

Email [email protected]mail.com or join the club’s Facebook page for details on how to get involved


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