Gorey Special Olympic Club Awarded €500 in Gala Gifts for Clubs Initiative

Special Olympics Club in Gorey, Leinster (SOCGA), has been awarded €500 from Gala Retail as part of the Gala Gifts for Clubs initiative.

Gala Retail, a platinum sponsor of Special Olympics Ireland, launched the Gala Gifts for Clubs initiative to recognise and reward the work of Special Olympics Clubs across Ireland. Special Olympics Clubs are headed by volunteers who devote their time and knowledge through coaching, development, and support of Special Olympics Ireland athletes.

Coach and volunteer Hilary Davis comments “I love being part of the team who run SOCGA. We try to make our evenings fun and ensure every athlete is happy and safe as much as possible, and it’s great to be part of this community which brings so much joy to our lives. Everyone should volunteer – it’s an hour a week which will change your life in the best way possible.”

Founded by the late Special Olympics volunteer, Beryl Kelly, following her experience with the 2003 Ireland World Summer Games, SOCGA in Leinster has been a driving force for inclusion in its local area. With a range of sports on offer including football, swimming, bocce and badminton, athletes are encouraged to grow and thrive through new experiences and a friendly club atmosphere.

Hilary adds: “Our founder in Gorey, Beryl Kelly, sadly passed away this time last year and so we hosted a swim gala in her name which featured five other Special Olympics clubs. It was a great day with over 70 athletes from six different clubs – and plenty of smiling faces.”

The club will be using its Gala Gifts for Clubs cash prize to cover costs related to hosting the successful event.

The club’s athletes have an opportunity to get involved in a wide range of activities, as athlete Anna Adamovica says: “I love Special Olympics as I can see all my friends, play sport and have fun. I swim, play badminton, bocce and football – and last year we did kayaking! I’m a member since I was six and I look forward to my training every day.”

Speaking about the Gala Gifts for Clubs initiative, Gary Desmond, CEO at Gala Retail, added: “Through our partnership with Special Olympics Ireland, Gala Retail has consistently been blown away by the commitment and hard work demonstrated by the athletes, volunteers, and coaches in every Special Olympics Club nationwide.

“The ‘Gala Gifts for Clubs’ initiative aims to shine a light on the efforts of Clubs in supporting their athletes and volunteers. Beryl Kelly, and Hilary Davis should be commended for their great work in promoting enjoyment for both athletes and volunteers. Gala is proud to present SOCGA with a Gala Gift for Clubs as a gesture of our appreciation for their outstanding contributions.”

Since 2015, Gala Retail has been proud, platinum partners for Special Olympics Ireland. In collaboration with the organisation, Gala Retail has joined forces to grant rewards to clubs throughout Ireland as part of the Gala Gifts for Clubs program. This initiative aims to illustrate the remarkable efforts and commitment of Special Olympics Ireland clubs nationwide.