Greatness sprouts from grassroots at Special Olympics

Donate to Special Olympics Grassroots Campaign

Greatness sprouts from grassroots at Special Olympics: Special Olympic’s thriving community of clubs across Ireland transforms lives through sport, supporting nearly 8,000 adults and children with an intellectual disability in Ireland.

  • Special Olympics aims to raise €350,000 to support the grassroots programme delivered in communities across Ireland
  • Over 3,000 volunteers will take to the streets for Special Olympics’ biggest fundraiser of the year
  • The grassroots programme supports nearly 8,000 athletes across Ireland from club training to the World Games

Special Olympics Ireland is calling on the public to show their support for its grassroots programmes by donating generously on Collection Day, Friday 21st April.

Collection Day is the charity’s largest and most important fundraising day and from early this morning, 3,000 volunteers will hit the streets in a bid to help the charity raise €350,000 in vital funding. Nearly 8,000 athletes benefit from the sports training, competition, health and leadership programmes provided by Special Olympics Ireland in clubs throughout the country every day.

In addition to offering 15 sports, Special Olympics are focused on providing critical early intervention for children from as young as 4 years old, through its Young Athlete clubs. Its Health and Leadership Programmes also help athletes to learn new skills, become more independent and take an active role in their own health.

This Collection Day is happening in a particularly exciting year, as 73 athletes and a team of coaching and management personnel will travel to represent Ireland in the World Summer Games in Berlin, Germany. The excitement and activity of the Games would not be possible without the efforts of volunteers, coaches and staff on a day-to-day grassroots level in clubs across the island.

Matt English CEO of Special Olympics Ireland said:

“Our grassroots programmes are the foundation of everything we do at Special Olympics Ireland. They provide athletes with intellectual disabilities with the opportunity to participate in sports, make new friends, and achieve their goals. We are incredibly proud of the impact these programmes have had on the lives of so many athletes across the country, and we are determined to continue to support them in any way we can.”

Every donation, no matter how small, can make a big difference to the lives of athletes with intellectual disabilities and their families.

You can support the collection day appeal at

About Special Olympics Ireland

Special Olympics Ireland is a sports organisation for people with an intellectual disability, but it provides athletes with far more than the physical benefits of sport. Special Olympics changes lives. Through sport, athletes develop both physically and emotionally, they make new friends, realise their dreams, and know they can fit in. Special Olympics Ireland enables our athletes to achieve and win not only in sport but in life too.

Special Olympics Ireland currently has: 7,895 registered athletes participating in 16 sports in 294 affiliated clubs and groups throughout the island of Ireland.

For further information about Special Olympics Ireland please visit

 About World Summer Games Berlin 2023

  • Special Olympics World Games are the biggest inclusive sport events in the World.
  • Team Ireland plans to send 73 athletes to compete in 12 sports to Germany 17th-25th June 2023.
  • Team Ireland will be supported by a delegation of over 50 volunteers
  • Berlin will welcome 7,000 athletes, 190 nations, 20,000 volunteers and 300,000 spectators in June 2023

Tune in to John Morley on Galway Talks Friday 21st for an interview with Galway Special Opympic’s member.