Three Laois athletes will represent their county and province in the Special Olympics Ireland Games.
Tomás White from Portlaoise, Sean Conlon from Stradbally and Ballyfin’s Edward Coughlan will represent team Leinster in the 100m and Shot Put competitions at the Games in Dublin from Thursday 14 June to Sunday 17 June.
The three Laois men progressed through the regional games which were held in Kilkenny in 2016.
In 2017 they successfully competed against strong competition in the Leinster games which were again held in Kilkenny.
Opportunity to reach Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi
Athletes that are successful in the 2018 Ireland Games will have the opportunity to represent Team Ireland in the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi from 14 to 21 March 2019, where they will join with athletes from 170 nations.
Tomás, Sean and Edward are all members of Laochra Laoise Special Olympics Sports Club, which meets every Monday evening in St Mary’s Hall, Portlaoise from 7pm to 8pm.
More recently the three have been training on Monday evenings on the running track attached to Portlaoise College from 5.45pm to 6.45pm. They also attend monthly training sessions with other members of Team Leinster.
They are expertly trained by club coach Stephen O Toole, who also attends the Leinster training sessions with them.
When they are not busy preparing for the Ireland Games, they join with other members of Laochra Laoise to compete in a Postal Bowling League.
The club has four teams entered in the competition, where they compete against other clubs in the Leinster region. Games take place every second Wednesday in Roll and Bowl.
In addition to all of the above, this year members of the club have also successfully taken part in floorball and basketball skills competitions.
Laochra Laoise are looking forward to attending the Ireland Games to cheer on Tomas, Sean and Edward and wish them every luck in their efforts to qualify for the World Games.