2nd December 2022
The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) along with the PSNI want everyone in Ulster to get “Freezin for a reason” by taking part in Special Olympics Ireland Polar Plunge on December 4th 2022.
Across the island of Ireland, people will be “taking the plunge” to raise vital funds to support Special Olympics athletes in preparation for Special Olympics World Summer Games in 2023.
Although a long standing practice in other regions, this will be the second year of what hopes to be a new tradition for East Strand Beach in Portrush!
Superintendent Ian Magee, Sargent Deborah Smyth from Coleraine PSNI Neighbour Policing team, Jeremy Adams, the co-director of LETR, with members, Frankie Dillon and Christina Dowds-Dillon were joined by Melissa Lemon PSP Council member, Councillor Stephanie Quigley of the Coleraine area and Mayor Ivor Wallace of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough to launch the Polar Plunge at East Strand Beach, Portrush. Special Olympics have a fantastic relationship with the LETR, beginning in 1981 and going strong.
2022 marks the 20th year of the Polar Plunge campaign. Polar Plunge events will take place in four locations throughout December. In Ulster, people can take the icy dip at East Strand Beach, Portrush – Sunday December 4th. If braving the cold isn’t your thing, participants can also complete their own Polar Plunge virtually from their own locations.
Funds raised from this year’s Polar Plunge events will help to support Special Olympics Ireland’s club’s and athletes, who have been taking part in Advancement Events in recent months in the hope of being selected as one of only 73 athletes who will represent Team Ireland at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Berlin next June.
For more information or to sign-up for a daring dip this December, visit www.specialolympics.ie/polar-plunge.
Cllr Stephanie Quigley, Independent Party, Coleraine District attended the launch and said;
“It was a privilege to attend the Polar Plunge launch in Portrush, as a sea swimmer myself and as a local elected representative. I know some of the young swimmers from the Ballymoney Swimming club who participated and enjoyed great success at the advancement swimming event in Bangor, and the fact that the funds from the Polar Plunge event will help support local clubs and athletes to get back in to sport. It fosters a sense of inclusion in sport that is the aim of Special Olympics.
I'm planning to attend the event and bring along some of my local sea swimming and others from the North coast to attend!”
Shaun Cassidy, Ulster Regional Director, Special Olympics Ireland said;
"I would like to thank everyone who turned out for the launch of the Portrush Polar Plunge. The Polar Plunge is one of Special Olympics favourite fundraising events and one that we look forward to every year. This is the first time in almost three years that this event is face to face and the funds raised are vital to the ongoing development of the local Special Olympics programme.
“It is fantastic to see that so many people are willing to participate with registrations already taking place for the event. We would especially like to thank the Law Enforcement Torch Run for their amazing support in organising the event which makes it that little bit more special.”
Special Olympics Ulster is a sports organisation for people with an intellectual disability that gives athletes the chance to train in sport and improve their quality of life and is supported by Sport NI. 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, @SO_Ulster and on Facebook @SpecialOlympicsUlster.