SPECIAL OLYMPICS ULSTER is calling on people from Belfast and beyond to get ‘Freezin’ for a Reason’ this December to raise funds for local athletes with intellectual disabilities.
The Belfast Polar Plunge fundraiser returns to Belfast Marina, located behind the SSE Arena, on 2 December as Special Olympics Ulster builds toward the 2018 Special Olympics Ireland Games.
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 is hoping that this year’s event will be popular with hundreds of plungers, both old and new, raising much needed funds for the organisation and its athletes.
The Polar Plunge is proudly supported by the Law Enforcement Torch Run, with the event set to raise funds for both Special Olympics Ulster and Northern Ireland Hospice.
Speaking at the launch, Special Olympics Ulster Regional Director, Shaun Cassidy said:
“The Polar Plunge is a really fun fundraising event, and one we look forward to every year. We would encourage everyone to sign up today for the opportunity to take part in this meaningful initiative during the festive season to help to raise funds for our inspirational athletes.
This is an important year for the Ulster athletes in the run up to the Ireland Games. The Games only happen once every four years and for many is the highlight of their sporting achievement. We can’t do it without public support and the Polar Plunge is one of the most important fundraising dates in the diary for us.”
Also speaking at the launch, Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin, Police Service of Northern Ireland said:
“This is the 9th year the Police Service of Northern Ireland is supporting the Polar Plunge and we delighted to be taking part in this worthwhile event once again.
“We are proud to join our colleagues in An Garda Síochána and other law enforcement officers to take part in this event in December, which will help to raise vital funds to support the local Special Olympics Ulster athletes.
“Over 85,000 police officers from 48 countries across the world work together to deliver Law Enforcement Torch Run events each year. They act as Guardians of the Flame, ensuring the delivery of the Special Olympics Flame of Hope to the opening ceremonies of local Special Olympics competitions, as well as taking part in fundraising activities to support Special Olympics programmes.
“I would encourage everyone to ‘take the plunge’ to support Special Olympics Ulster and the Northern Ireland Hospice.”
Those who think they are brave enough to 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.