SPECIAL Olympics Ulster is calling upon people from Belfast and beyond to accept the challenge and plunge into the River Lagan this December to raise funds for local Special Olympics athletes.
This freezing fundraiser returns to the Belfast Marina, located behind the SSE Arena, on 1st December, challenging the public to ‘get freezin’ for a reason’ in support of athletes with an intellectual disability.
Families, sports clubs, businesses and individuals are invited to brave the icy waters of Belfast Harbour at 11am, where local athletes will be on hand to meet, greet and chat about their experiences in the Special Olympics Programme.
Special Olympics Ulster hopes that this year will attract hundreds of plungers, both old and new, raising much needed funds for the organisation and its athletes, in the build up to the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.
Regional Director, Shaun Cassidy said: “The Polar Plunge is one of our favourite fundraising events and one that we look forward to every year. Every day, the athletes of Special Olympics Ulster step up to meet the challenges of the sport that they love and do so with a smile.
“We would encourage everyone to sign up today and take on a fun challenge in support of these inspirational athletes.”
2019 is an important year for the Ulster athletes, with 19 Special Olympics Ulster athletes joining a 91-strong Team Ireland squad to travel to the Special Olympics World Games in March 2019, the highest level of sporting competition for Special Olympics athletes.
There are also currently more than 2,000 athletes training on a weekly basis in Special Olympics clubs across Ulster. Funds raised through the Polar Plunge will go towards to continuation of this programme.
Those who think they are brave enough to make a splash and take the Polar Plunge can register at www.specialolympics.ie/polarplunge
Registration costs just £20 with plungers asked to raise at least an additional £50. All money raised will go directly to supporting athletes with intellectual disabilities in sport and competitions.
Special Olympics Ulster is a sports organisation for people with an intellectual disability that gives athletes the chance to train in a chosen sport and improve their quality of life.
The athletes’ families involved with the organisation build an invaluable network of friendship and support while athletes are given a platform to demonstrate courage, experience joy and share long lasting friendships.
To keep up to date with Special Olympics Ulster events and athletes, follow the organisation on Twitter, @SOIreland @SO_Ulster and on Facebook, www.facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsUlster