The Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Ireland returns to Rosslare Strand on December 8 and organisers are calling on people to take up the challenge to raise vital funds for local athletes with an intellectual disability.
Next year is set to be another massive year for Special Olympics Ireland as 91 athletes prepare to represent Team Ireland at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi in March, including nine athletes and five coaches from the Leinster region, two of whom hail from County Wexford - badminton player John Doyle from Gorey, and gymnast Lisa Redmond from Tomhaggard.
There is also a further 9,000 athletes training on a weekly basis in Special Olympics clubs across Ireland. Funds raised through the Polar Plunge will go towards the continuation of the programme.
Grainne Murphy, former Olympic swimmer and Ireland Games athlete Shannon O'Farrell Molloy are back on board to support this year's Rosslare Plunge. Speaking at the launch, Grainne reflected on the similarities between both athletes: 'When I look at Shannon and think what I was doing at the Olympics or the World Championships, it's the same mentality and the same goals - we all want the best out of ourselves. Special Olympics athletes challenge themselves every day and it's phenomenal to be around.'
Those interested in taking part can register at www.specialolympics.ie/polarplunge. Registration costs just €20 with plungers asked to fundraise an additional amount to support athletes.