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Local coach to officiate on world stage at Special Olympics Games

Thursday, 7th March, 2019 4:23pm
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Local coach to officiate on world stage at Special Olympics Games

Local coach to officiate on world stage at Special Olympics Games

Pauline Nugent from Portroe will shortly be embarking upon the experience of a lifetime.

Head Coach of the local Ormond Special Olympics Club for many years, Pauline has been selected as an International Technical Official in Athletics for the Special Olympics World Games – Abu Dhabi 2019. Held every four years, this will be the 15th Special Olympics World Games, and many people still have very fond memories of the tremendous excitement created in 2003 when Ireland was the first country outside the United States to host this huge event.

This will be the first time the Games will be held in the Middle East and will break Special Olympics records. The United Arab Emirates will welcome around 7,500 athletes from 200 countries in 24 sports, making it the biggest humanitarian sporting event in the world ever.

With the help of thousands of volunteers, the Games will be spread over 12 days of intense competition. After an initial few days of acclimatisation and divisioning for the athletes, the Opening Ceremony will take place in Abu Dhabi on Thursday 14 March 2019.

The Irish Team comprises 91 Athletes across 12 Sports. The athletes have been selected from clubs all over the country following an exhaustive four-year progressive sporting programme, culminating in the Ireland Games in Dublin last summer.

Pauline is very excited by the prospect of being an International Technical Official in Athletics, which is to be held in Dubai. She said: “I feel so honoured to have been selected by the Special Olympics World Organising Committee to officiate at the Games. My previous involvement at World Games was as Head Coach or Coach for the Ireland Athletics Team in Games in Dublin, Italy, China, Greece, Poland and Belgium. This is a rather different role and I will have to remember to remain completely impartial as a Games Official!

“I am a  bit nervous to be taking such an important role at this huge event, but I know that when the Games start I will be delighted to play a part in such a tremendous experience for so many athletes.”

The Special Olympics Vision is that sport will open hearts and minds towards people with intellectual disabilities and create inclusive communities all over the world. Abu Dhabi 2019 is sure to be big, exciting and exotic. We wish Pauline and all the Team Ireland athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers the very best of luck for yet another successful Special Olympics World Games. 

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