Slam-Dunk as Gala Retail Kits Out Biggest-ever Irish delegation of Family and Friends Ahead of Special Olympics World Summer Games

At the unveiling of Team Ireland’s female basketball team ahead of the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Berlin, platinum sponsor of Special Olympics Ireland, Gala Retail, took the opportunity to gift family and friends of the team new supporter merchandise.

This year, outside of Germany, Ireland is the country with the largest delegation, now surpassing 500, and retail partner, Gala Retail has gifted almost 1,500 official supporters’ merchandise to friends and family of the athletes who will be representing their country from June 17th – 25th.  

Back row: Jenna Carty, Emma Johnstone, Gary Desmond, CEO Gala Retail, Margaret Turley, Matt English, CEO Special Olympics Ireland, Anita Forde and Deirdre Walsh Front row: Team Ireland family, Jean Johnstone and Tom Walsh

Gala representatives joined Special Olympics Ireland CEO, Matt English, and members of Team Ireland to launch the supporters’ kits and present them to family and friends with the help of the Irish female basketball team that’s heading to the Games. 

In addition to kitting out volunteers, family and friends, the Gala Group’s sponsorship will help to fund the travel and participation of the delegation of Irish athletes who are travelling to Berlin to represent their country.

Speaking at the launch, Matt English, Chief Executive, Special Olympics Ireland said: “Special Olympics Ireland has a strong legacy on the world stage going back to the 1980s. Since the country hosted the Special Olympics World Summer Games in 2003, we have become famous worldwide for our warm-hearted welcome and enthusiastic support, with large groups of volunteers and supporters traveling all over the globe to support Team Ireland. Thank you to Gala Retail for all the incredible support they give us and for making sure that our supporters look the part. Anyone at the Games can expect a sea of green as we cheer on our 73 athletes representing Team Ireland.”

Gary Desmond, CEO Gala Retail with Team Ireland Basketball player Emma Johnstone and mother Jean Johnstone and Matt English, CEO of Special Olympics

Throughout the duration of the Games, Gala Retail will be capturing #GalaSpecialMoments from the World Games, sharing the experience of the athletes and supporters through a series of short clips and videos that will feature on the Gala Retail social media platforms.

This year marks Gala’s eighth year as a platinum partner of Special Olympics Ireland, commenting on the partnership, CEO of Gala Retail, Gary Desmond said:

“Over the past eight years, our partnership and our relationship with Special Olympics Ireland has grown significantly. During that time, many members of the Gala Group from the management team to wholesalers and retailers have attended Special Olympics events, meeting the athletes and volunteers and forging relationships with the team behind Special Olympics Ireland.

“We are thrilled to hear that Ireland will be sending the biggest cohort of supporters to the World Games and we are delighted to support the volunteers and supporters with green t-shirts, hats and bags that will identify them as proud supporters of Special Olympics team Ireland! We can’t wait to see all the special moments that unfold for Team Ireland athletes at the games this year.”

From 17 to 25 June 2023, 73 athletes from across Ireland will be representing their country at the 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games.