Boys in Green team up with Special Olympics
FAI MARKS GLOBAL TEAM AMBASSDOR ROLE WITH SPECIAL OLYMPICS GLOBAL FOOTBALL INITIATIVE
Republic of Ireland players Eddie Nolan, Darren O'Dea and Andy Keogh took time before a training session this week to practice kicking drills with Special Olympics athletes as the team celebrates becoming the first national side to take on the role as Global Team Ambassador for the Special Olympics Global Football Initiative.
Within this role Republic of Ireland will use the power of football to promote respect, acceptance and inclusion of young people and adults with intellectual disabilities.
The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) marked the partnership further during the World Cup play-off between Republic of Ireland and France on Saturday November 14 when athletes from Special Olympics football clubs Sporting Fingal, Cheeverstown and Bray Lakers were introduced to over 70,000 fans on pitch at half time.
The Republic of Ireland Senior International team take on the global ambassador role for the Special Olympics movement alongside Serie A Champions Inter Milan, UK Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and Corinthians FC of Brazil.
This partnership is a natural progression for the FAI. The Association's Football for All programme has as its central aim the delivery of football opportunities to people who may not ordinarily get a chance to play the ‘beautiful game'.
John Delaney, FAI Chief Executive said: "We are delighted to take our long-time relationship with Special Olympics one step further by taking on a global ambassador role. We are committed to using our fan base across the world to promote inclusion in sport for people with intellectual disabilities and raise the profile of Special Olympics."