Friday 19 July 2019

Visually impaired student at Trinity Inclusion games

Caitlin Flynn
Caitlin Flynn

Olivia Ryan

Dundalk student Caitlin Flynn and a group of her TY classmates were thrilled to be invited to the inaugural National Vision Inclusion Games in Trinity College.

Access to the games is normally restricted only to Dublin schools St.Louis student Caitlin applied anyway and she and her classmates spent an amazing day in the company of Ireland's Paralympic legend Jason Smyth - a 17 times gold medallist! 

In 2014 Caitlin was diagnosed with a brain tumour, when she was only 11 years old. She underwent a major operation.

'There was only a 30% chance of me living through the operation. After the operation I was fully blind but my sight started coming back and I ended up with 10% percent vision. However we soon learned that that was all the vision I would recover. That has had a huge impact on my life.

I wouldn't be where I am now without the help of my mam and dad and my sisters, and it's great to know that I have the support of my family through thick and thin.

I was so inspired on Friday to stand beside Jason Smyth, someone who understood what I am going through, but also someone who reached his full potential and beyond. He is an inspiration for all people in Ireland living with disabilities as well as all able bodied people. '

Kate O' Byrne, Caitlin's PE teacher was delighted to have been able to experience the day with Caitlin. 'For all of us who went to Dublin with Caitlin it was a sobering experience. We closed our eyes and had a feeling of how it is for visually impaired athletes. Jason was inspirational. He only started his own athletic career at Caitlin's age so he is a wonderful role model for her. Caitlin recently completed her 25km Gaisce hike is currently in training for her first 5k run along with all her classmates.

The Argus