Special Olympics and GPA

The Special Olympics National Collection Day takes place next Friday, April 22nd and you’d never know who might be popping up with a bucket to shake in order to raise money for this most special group of athletes and volunteers.

The Gaelic Players Association (GPA) and the Women’s Gaelic Players Association have both committed to supporting Special Olympics as formal partner.

Kerry footballer Peter Crowley and Wexford hurler Conor McDonald along with GPA Chief Executive Dessie Farrell were on hand at Croke Park yesterday to announce details of the partnership alongside Special Olympics athletes Sheera Delaney and Dean Gallagher who competed at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles last summer.

The players, along with the GPA, have called on members of the public to dig deep on Collection Day – which is proudly supported by eir – as the charity seeks to raise €650,000 in 24 hours to support athletes with intellectual disabilities.

“As a sports person I really respect the level of commitment and dedication our Special Olympics athletes show in their various sports,” said Crowley.

“I know how much playing football means to me and I am a firm believer that anyone that wishes to train and compete in a sport of their choosing should be given that opportunity, where possible.”

“That’s why Collection Day on April 22 is such an important day for Special Olympics and I would urge everyone to get behind it.”

“Collection Day is the main fundraising initiative for Special Olympics Ireland,” added CarolAnn Lennon, Wholesale managing Director of eir.

“This day will bring in vital funds for the charity, ensuring they can continue to offer their sports and training services in cities, towns and villages all across Ireland.”

“On April 22nd eir employees, from Belfast to Cork, will be on the streets in their local communities raising much needed funds for Special Olympics Ireland. Please join us. The more volunteers we have on Collection Day, the more funding we will raise. That money will ensure that Special Olympics Ireland continues to meet their central objective. That every person in Ireland, with an intellectual disability, has the opportunity to participate in sport, to develop new skills, make new friends, and become the best they can be.”

Dessie Farrell, CEO of the GPA, was also present to greet the Special Olympics athletes and added his support to the Collection Day fundraising efforts: “We are delighted to be able to get involved with such a worthwhile initiative. Sheera and Dean, along with the entire Special Olympics Team, are a real source of inspiration to all us here in the GPA and we are fully behind this fundraising day for Special Olympics Ireland. We would encourage all our members throughout the country to lend their support if possible on the day”.

“To be so warmly welcomed to Croke Park by the GPA has been fantastic,” said Special Olympics CEO Matt English.

“The support is a fantastic endorsement of our athletes, their achievements and the ongoing work of Special Olympics. Supported by eir, Collection Day is a vitally important milestone in our annual fundraising calendar. I am hoping the general public comes out to support us in whatever way they can this Collection Day. Every single euro really will make a difference.”

Sport for Business will be shaking a bucket at Blackrock Dart Station in Dublin next Friday, straight after publication of our daily news digest.  Play your part by signing up for an hour or whatever you can.  The link to volunteer is right here.  Come on.