Fergal jets off to Abu Dhabi for World Special Olympics Game

March 11, 2019

A young Culloville athlete is among four local athletes who flew out to Abu Dhabi last week for the Special Olympics World Games.

Fergal Gregory joins fellow Special Olympic athletes, Peadar Connolly, Megan McElherron and Conor McClorey at the global event which will see around 7,500 athletes and over 40,000 coaches and volunteers descend on Abu Dhabi for the Games between March 14-21, making it the largest sporting event in the world. 

The local athletes are accompanied by Newry City AFC Special Olympics Club Coaches, Esther King and Kelen McKee and volunteers Jim Fox, Edel McClorey, Chris Cooke, Michelle Meehan, Elizabeth Jennings and AnnMarie Jennings.  The team have been training up to six times a week for the last six months in preparation for the games and are determined to bring back an impressive medal haul. 

The local olympians were part of a hugely successful team of local athletes who scooped 11 gold, six silver and eight bronze medals at the Special Olympics Ireland Games in Dublin last summer.

Culloville athlete Fergal, who clinched a gold medal in Athens in 2015, has set his sights on further success this year in the kayaking category, confirming he is definitely “looking for a medal in Abu Dhabi.” 

Volunteer Paddy Duffy who is in Abu Dhabi with the team for his sixth world games says the team are unique in having four local athletes competing and he is confident the team of dedicated sportsmen and women “will do this district very proud”.

A “Dubai 2019 Special Olympics” App is currently available to download to follow all the excitement at this month’s Games, including winners, times and constant updates throughout the Games. Updates on the four local athletes will also be provided on The Newry City Special Olympics Facebook page.