Mr Dunne, the DUP’s Assembly Spokesperson for Sport commented,
‘I was delighted to welcome local athletes from Special Olympics Ulster who secured a tremendous haul of 31 medals (12 gold, 8 silver, and 11 bronze) as part of Team Ireland that competed at the World Summer Games in Berlin to Parliament Buildings for a special recognition reception.
It was great to speak with many of the athletes and find out more about their individual journeys to success. Each of them has an inspiring story to tell and should be seen as great role models for their hard work in training and dedication over many years. Recognition should also be given to the excellent coaches, volunteers and their families and friends who gave up so much of their time and energy to support the athletes and make sure the team’s participation in the games ran so successfully.
In Northern Ireland, we have a very rich and proud sporting tradition, and the outstanding success of our Special Olympic athletes demonstrates once again our country’s ability to punch above its weight when it comes to sporting achievements. Furthermore, the variety of sports in which our talented athletes were successful showcases just how vibrant and diverse the sporting scene in Northern Ireland is, with success in sports including gymnastics, kayaking, football, golf, bocce and basketball. I would like to commend Special Olympics Ulster, Special Olympics Ireland, Sport NI and the Department for Communities for all their support in making dreams come true for these athletes.
Sport changes lives and gives incredible opportunities for so many. I would like to wish the athletes well for the future and I look forward to seeing their future successes including at the next Summer Games in Australia in 2027.’