SWORDS gymnast Billy Kane, 5-a-side footballer Emmet Daly and 11-a-side counterparts Laurence Keegan and Matthew Troy are all looking forward to the Special Olympics Summer World Games 2015 which take place year following his inclusion in the Irish squad for the event that takes place in Los Angeles.
They are among 32 Dubliners in the 88-strong Team Ireland athletes for the event that runs from July 25 to August 2.
Fifteen-year-old Kane is delighted and proud to have been chosen to compete, saying upon hearing the news: “It is an honour to be selected to represent my country in such a major competition.”
Kane is a member of the Mid-Sutton Gymnastics club and has been involved with gymnastics for over six years now.
On top of his regular club sessions, Kane will be doing additional mid-week training as well as conditioning exercises and, being involved with Special Olympics Ireland aged nine has given him lots of great moments.
To date, his best memory is when he competed in the Ireland Games in Limerick last year.
Daly, 18, meanwhile says that July seems a long way off, saying: “I cannot wait to play in Los Angeles.”
Daly has been playing football for over two years with Sporting Fingal and lists his selection for Ireland in the upcoming world games as his sporting highlight.
While Daly will compete at 5-a-side level, Keegan and Troy will make up part of the 11-a-side football team.
Both won gold with Sporting Fingal at last year’s Ireland Games, one of their career highlights to date.
With just six months until the world games kick off, Team Ireland is busy preparing and training for the games with the athletes supported by a 40-strong management and coaching staff.
This summer, the iconic city of Los Angeles will welcome 7,000 athletes from 177 countries to the Special Olympics World Summer Games 2015.
Supported by over 30,000 volunteers – including 200 from across the island of Ireland – the Games will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015, and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games.
Matt English, chief executive of Special Olympics Ireland, said: “2015 is shaping up to be a huge year for our athletes. It’s a tremendous achievement to be selected to represent Team Ireland at LA 2015. Over the coming months we will be working hard to generate the necessary funds to send Team Ireland athletes to the world games and I am confident that the business world will answer our call for support.”