By Amy Rohu
Special Olympics Ireland is asking people from County Dublin to help raise €200,000 throughout May as part of its annual Collection Day campaign.
The fundraising target is needed to enable the charity to continue its support of 7,351 children and adults living with an intellectual disability across the island of Ireland.
For the second year running, the annual Collection Day campaign which culminates on May 28, will be held virtually.
Special Olympics athlete Rian Harrison, aged 8, is encouraging locals to donate €4 by texting Athlete to 50300 or by visiting cantstopnow.ie to make a donation or to organise a virtual fundraising event.
Rian joined Dundrum Special Olympics Club in 2018 and his family have never looked back. The club provides a tailored programme for children aged between 4-12 and is aimed at preparing them for an active life involved in sport. Through early intervention, the programme improves an athlete’s physical literacy and provides parents with an invaluable support network.
Commenting on how Dundrum Special Olympics Club has provided a lifeline to the family, Rian’s dad, Richard said: “The volunteers are incredible, they’re trained in knowing how to speak to Rian and connect with him. They’ve helped him to further develop skills and we’re seeing the results of that in other areas of his life, like his concentration during home-schooling. It’s not just for Rian either, it’s been a support network for us too. We’ve been able to meet other parents and share experiences and advice with each other.”
Matt English, CEO of Special Olympics Ireland added: “It’s been a year like no other, but as always, our Special Olympics athletes continue to inspire us with their positivity and determination to overcome all the challenges that the pandemic has thrown at them. We’re doing all we can to keep our clubs connected and I’d like to personally ask the public to support us and the work we continue to do, by making a donation or hosting a virtual fundraiser.”
For more information, or to get involved visit or www.cantstopnow.ie