Saturday 19 January 2019

Top basketball star Amy has a packed weekly programme

In the third part of our 'Days in the Life' series to mark Prosper Fingal's 40th anniversary, we talk to Amy Duffy

Amy Duffy from Loughshinny has represented her country at basketball and football, and accesses Prosper Fingal's North Street day service in Swords

She said: 'A huge part of my life is the Special Olympics, and I have been playing basketball with them for over nine years now, having previously played football and represented Ireland at the European Special Olympics Games in 2007, receiving a coveted Ireland cap. Since then I have represented Ireland twice in the World Games. I won a Silver Medal in Athens in 2011, and Gold in Los Angeles in 2015.

'It was an amazing experience to play basketball for Ireland. I will never forget when my coach rang me to say that I had been selected. Aside from winning Gold in the final versus Mexico, a big highlight for me was meeting Colin Farrell.

'He was lovely and I got a hug from him and was delighted with myself! He led the Irish team into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the opening ceremony. Prior to the L.A. Games, we were on the Miriam O'Callaghan show on RTÉ, and we also appeared on The Late Late Show with Ryan Tubridy before going to Athens. On every occasion, I am accompanied by Ted - my little Mascot which I've had for 12 years now, and who is dressed in the appropriate kit to match each event!

'At club level, I play for Swords Basketball Special Olympics Club - we finished third in Division 1 this season, which was a good achievement in a very difficult division. We train every Tuesday evening in ALSAA, and have our home matches there also, with away matches in various clubs around Dublin.

'In terms of my weekly routine, every Monday I go to Circuit Class in the Well Fit Gym in Skerries with my sister, Marisa. I have been working hard on my fitness and it is really paying off. In the afternoon, I relax and often go to the beach with my Mam and our two dogs.

'On Tuesday, I am back to work in Dunnes Stores in the Pavillions Shopping Centre, where I have been working for 12 years now and I love it. I work in the Fitting Rooms and it is always busy. I enjoy meeting the people coming in. After work, I meet my friends from basketball and we have something to eat before heading to training. I work on Wednesday and Thursday also, and on Thursday after work I go to the gym and do my own workout, given to me by my Personal Trainer, Sophie.

'On Friday morning, I go to a Tone-Up Class and usually just chill-out for the rest of the day and get ready for the weekend. On Saturday, I meet my boyfriend, Barry, and we go out for dinner.

'We love going to the cinema or shopping in Dublin city. We really enjoy going on short breaks within Ireland, and we are looking forward to our trip to Lanzarote in October, which will be our third time to go there - we love it.

'In the evenings, I love to watch the soaps - Coronation Street and Home and Away are my favourites. A couple of years back, I went with my Mam to visit the Coronation Street set and we had a brilliant day.

'From time to time, I meet up with my Key Worker from Prosper Fingal and discuss with her any issues I might have. At the moment, we are looking into some educational courses available - I completed several modules of a retail course in the adult education centre in Balbriggan, and also a computer course. I would like to do more in these areas.

This series marks the 40th anniversary of Prosper Fingal, which provides services and supports to approximately 300 adults with an intellectual disability in north Dublin.

Fingal Independent