Gala Retail’s commitment to Special Olympics Ireland

In early 2020, Gala Retail announced its commitment to continue its partnership with Special Olympics Ireland for a further four years. The Gala Group was joined by Special Olympics  Ambassador and Patron, Keith Wood,  and members of Special Olympics Team Ireland to celebrate the announcement, which sees the Group invest a six-figure sum in continuing its platinum sponsorship of Special Olympics Ireland for the next four-year cycle of Olympic activities.

Gala Retail first partnered with Special Olympics Ireland for the World Summer Games in 2015 before cementing its relationship with the organisation to become a platinum sponsor of Special Olympics Ireland, supporting more than 8,000 athletes nationwide.

Gala’s renewed partnership will see the Group supporting Special Olympics Team Ireland athletes in the upcoming Special Olympics Games events, as well as supporting athletes across the country in area and regional games throughout the year.

Commenting on the sponsorship announcement, Gary Desmond, CEO of Gala Retail, explains: “Over the past five years, we have witnessed first hand the great work that Special Olympics Ireland contributes to communities across Ireland. We’ve experienced many #GalaSpecialMoments and supported the athletes in their journeys from area games right through to world summer games.”

“With athletes and clubs in locations all across Ireland, Special Olympics has a place in the heart of many communities and with almost 200 Gala stores based across Ireland, there’s a real synergy with this partnership. Gala retailers, stores and staff members have shown great enthusiasm and support for this partnership and are extremely proud that Gala Retail will be continuing to support Special Olympics Ireland.”

Matt English, CEO of Special Olympics Ireland comments: “We are delighted that Gala are renewing their partnership with us for the next four years which coincides with our advancement cycle. Without the support of sponsors like Gala, we couldn’t continue to provide our athletes with all the benefits that go with being part of the Special Olympics community.  By giving us a four-year commitment it also allows us to plan ahead. Over the past five years Gala Retail shops have engaged with our local community based clubs to champion their local athletes and we look forward to seeing this continue.”

Gala’s CSR commitment to Special Olympics Ireland remains as resolute as ever, especially in a time when all charities are facing enormous shortfalls in their fundraising efforts, we recognise and admire the incredible work that the organisation delivers for 8,000 plus athletes and their families in every town and county in Ireland.  Following our announcement of a further four-year extension of our platinum sponsorship of Special Olympics Ireland in early 2020, in June, we were determined to work within the guidelines and create a new fundraising concept that could be delivered for Special Olympics. During the summer, we hosted Ireland’s first-ever virtual golf week raising much needed funds for Special Olympics Ireland.

In November, a number of Gala stores committed to fundraising for Special Olympics Ireland as part of the organisations collection week, aiming to raise further funds for our charity partner, during this challenging time for charitable organisations.

Established in 1978, Special Olympics Ireland currently has almost 8,872 registered athletes participating in 14 sports in 352 affiliated groups throughout the island of Ireland.  These athletes are supported by their families and a team of 25,000 volunteers who give their time to help out at sporting and fundraising events.