It's not too often that a Wexford athlete goes on to represent their county and country at a global level, but that's exactly what Lisa Redmond will be doing as she jets off to Abu Dhabi for the Special Olympics World Games next month.
Wexford Special Olympics Club hosted a special send off for Lisa at the Talbot Hotel before she travels to Abu Dhabi where she will compete in Artistic Gymnastics. Lisa is to spend a week in Dubai prior the World Games where she'll enjoy some sight-seeing and adjust to the climate.
The Wexford woman has made phenomenal progress over the past three years to get to this point. She put in a solid performance in the Leinster Regional competition in Janz Gymnastics Club in Dublin in December of 2016 and this gave her a place on the Leinster team to compete at the Ireland Games in Dublin in June of last year. She did a great routine that weekend and managed to win gold on her favourite pieces - the vault and the beam - and silver on floor.
Since her selection for the Irish team, Lisa has pushed herself tirelessly, never missing a session, even when injured. The national coaches are delighted with her progress and are hopeful that she can perform well in Abu Dhabi. She has also taken some dance lessons from Sinead Reck to improve her floor performance and has also been keeping her fitness levels up training at the gym in the Talbot Hotel.
Michael Murphy will also be making the journey to the UAE as basketball coach, along with Emma McKegney who will travel as a volunteer.
Lisa has received wonderful support on her journey so far and just this week she collected a new Wexford top and runners from Hore's Stores so she can fly the flag for her county abroad.
There were also big thanks for the coaches, chaperones, volunteers and Caroline from the Able Disabled Members who have been a wonderful source of motivation to Lisa on her journey thus far.
There was also big thanks to all fundraisers and the Presentation Secondary School, CBS School, Murrintown Community Centre and Wexford Gymnastics Club for the use of their facilities.
Lisa now joins an illustrious list of Special Olympics heroes of the past that includes Carol Ryan who competed in World Games Athens in 2011, Colleen Flood who competed in European Games in Belgium in 2014 and Paul Keane who competed in World Games in Los Angles in 2015.