A Limerick man has been selected to take part in this year’s Special Olympics World Winter Games, which will be held in Austria this March.
Michael Minogue (28) from Ballingarry will be one of a 26-strong Team Ireland squad competing at the Games in Graz and Schladming from March 18.
Michael’s sport of choice is floorball, a team game similar to unihoc or ice hockey but played in a rink on a standard playing surface.
Michael has been a dedicated member of Special Olympics for the past 10 years, having represented Ireland in floorball at the European Games in 2003. Not only is he undergoing rigorous floorball training, Michael also incorporates athletics and basketball into his exercise regime to ensure he is fit and ready for the Games in March.
Special Olympics has helped Michael grow his confidence and meet lots of new people, including his wife of 8 years, Christine. When he is isn’t training, Michael loves painting and is an avid Manchester United fan.
Commenting on Michael’s achievement, Phyllis Naughton, his club coach, said: “Michael is a genuine, serious and honest sportsperson, he gets on well with coaches and athletes and is very committed to all his sports – athletics, basketball and floorball.”
Commenting on the Team Ireland floorball team’s progress, head coach, Michael Lynch said: “I think they’re all training very well and I think we’ve got a great bunch together. They’re looking forward to it. We understand that we’ll be playing against countries where floorball is their main sport.
“It’s going to be a fair competition because if you get beaten in the first game, you go into a different group. I think we have a good chance of staying there anyways.”
The Special Olympics World Winter Games Austria 2017 will be the largest sports event to take place in 2017, hosting 3,000 athletes from 110 countries worldwide. Team Ireland will join almost 3,000 Special Olympics athletes from 107 countries for the Games, which are already set to be one of the sporting highlights of 2017.
Businesses in Limerick that would like further information on how to support Michael and the rest of Team Ireland, should visit www.specialolympics.ie or call the Special Olympics Munster office on 021-4977192.