LOCAL DONEGAL GARDAI and some well-known sporting personalities have joined forces with Special Olympics Ireland to call on people to get freezin’ for a reason this December.
Endurance swimmer Anne Marie Ward from Portnablagh, athletics legend Danny McDaid, from Letterkenny, and
members of the gardai stationed at Milford Garda Station were on-hand to help launch the sport’s charity Polar Plunge fundraiser, which is taking place at Rathmullan beach on December 12.
This unique event sees plungers plunge into the icy waters at the picturesque beach whilst raising money for Special Olympics athletes through sponsorship.
Photo caption: Members of the Garda with Olympian Danny McDaid, endurance swimmer Anne Marie Ward, Special Olympic Gymnast Patrick Quinlivin with locals on Rathmullan beach, urging people to sign up to The Polar Plunge, taking place on December 12th, raising funds for Special Olympics Ireland.
Special Olympics Ireland is hoping for a strong turn-out of plungers on Saturday December 12 with all of the funds
raised going towards supporting the organisation’s athletes.
To encourage people to get in the mood for plunging, Garda Sergeant Paul McGee, Garda Austin Marron and Garda Zofia Esaul, along with local Special Olympics gymnastics athlete Patrick Quinlivan, who brought home four bronze medals from the recent World Summer Games in Los Angeles, and endurance swimmer Anne Marie Ward, the first Donegal woman to swim the English Channel, took an icy plunge at the picturesque strand last week.
View the gallery here …
Members of the local community were out in force to witness the plucky plungers take their dip.
The Rathmullan Polar Plunge is being spearheaded by Garda Sergeant Paul McGee, as part of his role with the Law Enforcement Torch Run, an organisation that has been in partnership with Special Olympics for
“Whilst the Polar Plunge has become an annual event across Ireland with An Garda Síochána and PSNI Law Enforcement Torch Run, it will make its debut in Donegal to raise vital funds for Special Olympics Ireland,” Sergeant McGee said.
“This will help the organisation to continue to develop its inclusive sports training and competition programme for children and adults with intellectual disabilities via volunteer-led local clubs. The money raised will support Special Olympics Ireland in its mission to transforming the lives of its athletes through sport.”
Listen to Paul McGee’s interview in full with Charlie Collins below …
Also speaking at the launch was Special Olympics fundraising co-ordinator, John Kivlahan, who commented: “The Rathmullan Polar Plunge will not only help to raise much needed funds, it will also raise awareness about the fantastic work of athletes, coaches, and clubs all over Ireland. We are hoping that over 100 plungers will take
part in the event on December 12 and I would urge people to sign up today.”
It is hoped the event will raise thousands of euros for Special Olympics Ireland. Separate plunges are also taking place in seven other locations around the country on December 12 and is as part of a fundraising drive to support the charity that recently sent 88 athletes to the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles.
The icy challenge is being run in conjunction with the Gardai as part of their role with the Law Enforcement Torch Run. Organisers in Rathmullan say they are hopeful of a strong turn-out with the first plungers due to take their icy leap of faith from the pontoon at 11am.
Here’s Seamus Campbell from Special Olympics Ireland …
Those interested in signing up for the Polar Plunge can register at wwwspecialolympics.ie/
Plungers who raise more than €50 will also receive a complimentary ‘Ice Cool’ Polar Plunge t-shirt. Would be plungers are encouraged to register early online at wwwspecialolympics.ie/