Gala has introduced its own award this year for the Special Olympics Ireland Games 2018, the Gala Fair Play Award, given to athletes who embodied the spirit and enthusiasm of the event, with one athlete to be selected to receive the award on each day of the Games.
Speaking at the presentation of the Awards, chief executive of Gala Retail, Gary Desmond, said, “Gala is proud to be a sponsor of Special Olympics Ireland and through Gala’s ongoing partnership with Special Olympics and our attendance at various regional activities and events, we have constantly been impressed with the overwhelming positivity and joyful atmosphere at each event.
“The athletes play no small part in this, embodying the very spirit of what Special Olympics is all about and enjoying the opportunities to represent themselves, their clubs and their country and we wanted to create an award that recognised athletes that have been outstanding ambassadors for the organisation and the Ireland Games.”
For Team Connaught, 20-year old Grace O’Brien from Galway took home a Gala Fair Play Award, the 2018 Ireland Games were her first Games, representing Connaught as part of the basketball team.
14-year old Clodagh Robbins from Cork was also awarded a Gala Fair Play Award after bringing home gold, silver and bronze medals for Team Munster competing in Rhythmic Gymnastics Rope, Ribbon and Ball respectively.
Team Ulster athlete, Paul McFadden, aged 17, secured the Gala Fair Play Award for his absolute immersion in the Ireland Games and all it had to offer. Paul showed great support and enthusiasm, revelling in the celebrations at the Opening Ceremony and interacting with crowds throughout the Games.
Gala has been a partner of Special Olympics Ireland since 2015. In 2016, Gala Retail extended its commitment by pledging to become a major supporter of Special Olympics Ireland for a further four years which will see the partnership continue for the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games, taking place in Abu Dhabi in March.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.