Sport NI joined the Department for Communities to celebrate the Special Olympics Ulster athletes who competed at the 2023 Special Olympics World Games in Berlin.

Sport NI chair George Lucas joined sixteen Special Olympics Ulster athletes at the event hosted by the Department for Communities in Parliament Buildings.

The Special Olympics Ulster athletes contributed 31 medals (12 gold, 8 silver and 11 bronze) to a total haul by Team Ireland of 75 medals in sports such as gymnastics, kayaking, football, golf, boccia and basketball.

Sport NI Chair, George Lucas said: “I congratulate all the Special Olympics athletes that competed in Berlin. I have no doubt their achievements will be an inspiration to future generations of athletes, and it is fitting that they should be recognised with a wonderful event at Parliament Buildings.

“I want to also thank the coaches, volunteers, parents, carers and all those who went to Berlin to support our athletes as they represented us in this extraordinary celebration of sport.

“Sport has a positive impact on our health and wellbeing, brings people together and creates new friendships. In this exceptional team we can truly see the power of sport to change lives, not only for our Special Olympics athletes, but for those around them whom they inspire every day.”

Special Olympics Ulster is a sports organisation for people with an intellectual disability from the age of 4 years old with no upper age limit.

Almost 8,000 athletes from across the island of Ireland participate in 15 different sports through Special Olympics.  Through sports, health, and leadership programmes, athletes learn to be physically, mentally and emotionally fit.

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Caption: Special Olympics Ulster athletes with Sport NI Chair George Lucas, Department for Communities Permanent Secretary Colum Boyle, CEO Special Olympics Ireland Matt English and event host Denise Watson.