Special Olympics Ireland
42 years ago, through a vision born in her own backyard, Eunice Kennedy Shriver established Special Olympics - an organisation that would grow into a global movement and change the lives of millions. Today 3 million athletes in more than 180 countries around the world benefit from being involved with Special Olympics.
Special Olympics Ireland was founded in 1978. Over the past 32 years the organisation has grown significantly and today has over 11,000 athletes participating in 15 sports in more than 440 Clubs throughout the island of Ireland. They are supported by a network of more than 18,000 volunteers, making Special Olympics one of the largest voluntary organisations in Ireland.
Currently Special Olympics Ireland offers the following sports: Alpine Skiing, Aquatics, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Equestrian, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Kayaking, Pitch & Putt, Table Tennis and the Motor Activities Training Programme (MATP).
In addition to providing sports training and competition, Special Olympics Ireland also incorporates the Athlete Leadership Programme (ALPs), the Family Support Programme, Healthy Athlete and Volunteer Programme.