One of the special elements of Special Olympics is the insistence on placing athletes at the heart of everything.
That was followed through on yesterday when LA Games veteran Stuart Brierton, pictured above beside Minister Patrick O’Donovan, served as Master of Ceremonies for the opening of the new Special Olympics Ireland Headquarters at the National Sports Campus.
We were privileged to get a tour of the facility with CEO Matt English and the pride in what they were now able to offer to athletes and volunteers was palpable.
So too was the commitment of Government who set aside €5 million to make the building possible and of Special Olympic’s sponsors eir who provided significant support around equipment and IT infrastructure.
“I am delighted to officially open the Special Olympics Ireland offices here at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus,” said O’Donovan.
“Special Olympics Ireland do fantastic work the length and breadth of the country, something I witnessed first-hand while volunteering with them myself and these new state of the art offices will assist the staff and volunteers as they continue to have a positive impact on the lives of all their athletes.”
The building, which was project managed by the Office of Public Works on behalf of Sport Ireland, provides for a reception area, offices, meeting facilities, an open plan office area and volunteer centre, canteen and ancillary accommodation. The facility also includes storage facilities and a Learning and Education Centre
“The development of the new Special Olympics Ireland offices will enhance their position as one of the foremost sporting organisations in the country, and ideally situates them in closer proximity to the excellent facilities on the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus, as well at the other National Governing Bodies for Sport,” said Sport Ireland Chairman Kieran Mulvey.
“We have seen over the years the great work which is being done by the dedicated work of Special Olympics’ staff and volunteers and the positive opportunities they create for so many, providing sporting and social experiences for persons with intellectual disability, added Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy.
“The development of this new facility will help those staff and volunteers build on this good work to continue to create more and more opportunities and experiences long into the future.”