Members of the Tipperary Special Olympics club are celebrating their achievements at the Special Olympics European Games held in Belgium. Shauna Bloom from Dundrum won silver in the ladies singles badminton and another silver medal in the mixed doubles.
“The athletes fought so hard to get their medals and much credit is due for their skills and determination in the competition,” said Phyllis Noughton.
Phyllis is head coach for Ireland’s Table Tennis team who brought home eight medals – 1 Gold, 5 Silver and 2 Bronze.
Shauna’s parents, Billy and Carol Bloom are over the moon and proud as punch as parents.
“It was the first time Shauna went to a Special Olympics and she brought home two silver medals and met so many new friends,” explained Billy.
“The atmosphere at the European Special Olympics is hard to explain but it’s just great, Everyone there is supporting sports and you’re even shouting support to the opposite team. Everything is about the love of sport and love of playing together… Countries who are fighting each other in wars all came together at the Special Olympics to just play and love each other. It’s amazing what Special Olympics could teach other sports people around the world.” said Billy.
Karina Houlihan from Glengoole, Thurles won silver in the 100meters Swimming Freestyle and Bronze in the Relay.
Karina is a regular visitor to Tipperary she trains in the Sean Tracey Swimming Pool with coach Josephine Ray.
Forty-six athletes from Special Olympics Ireland competed in the European Summer Games across 7 sports representing all 5 of our regions.
Over 150 families from Ireland went out to the Special Olympics European Games supporting athletes from up and down the country.
The Irish team won gold, silver and bronze medals and 31 placement ribbons and the Ireland soccer team won the Fair Play award in one of the most successful Irish showings at the European Games to date.