Fantastic send-off for Cyril

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Fantastic send-off for Cyril thumbnailA send off for local Team Ireland Olympians, Cyril Walker and Caolan McConville at the Dobbin Street Community Centre. ND1003

MARKETHILL man Cyril Walker was given a rapturous send off from supporters at a recent Special Olympics Winter Games launch party at the Dobbin Street Community Centre.
Cyril was joined by fellow skiing competitor CaolŠn McConville, who hails from Aghagallon, and special guests, endurance athlete Stevey McGeown from Armagh, GAA stars Paddy Morrison, Ethan Rafferty and a host of friends and family at the event last Wednesday.
Cyril and Team Ireland fly out to Graz in Austria on March 14 ahead of the games, which officially get under way at the WM-Stadium, Schladming on March 18.
Cyril, who is 46 and one of the oldest members of the team, is no stranger to the Special Olympic Winter Games, having competed and indeed won bronze medals in Japan back in 2005.
The Markethill native said that he is really looking forward to travelling to Austria next week.
“Being chosen to attend the World Games has given me a wonderful opportunity to travel to Austria and to represent my country for the second time in my life, showing the world what I can do," said Cyril. 0
“It has given me the confidence to show that I can do anything if I try really hard and that I am a special person.
“Special Olympics have given me the opportunities to make new friends through meeting and training with other athletes and volunteers.
“It has also helped me to improve my sporting ability and to make me a good sportsman.''
Local Special Olympics volunteer Niamh Withers organised Cyril and CaolŠn's big send off and she said that Cyril has his sights set on going one step better this time around!
“Cyril is flying out of March 14 and there is a great deal of excitement ahead of the games.
“All the hard work is done now and all of the training is finished.
“We always say that it is just fantastic that people like Cyril get the chance to go out and compete in the Special Olympics Winter Games, but it would be incredible to come home with a medal to show for his efforts.
“Cyril went to Japan in 2005 and got bronze and he is determined to come home with the gold this time around!"
Niamh, who will be working as the media volunteer for Team Ireland, said she is very proud of Cyril and all of the team.
“Cyril has been involved in the Gateway Club in Armagh for a number of years and I have known him for a very long time.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for Cyril and Team Ireland and I am looking forward to travelling out on March 16 to follow Cyril and see how he and indeed everyone gets on."
In order to go out to Austria with the team, Niamh had to raise £2,270 and she paid tribute to everyone who helped along the way.
“We had our sponsored indoor cycle in the Mall outside Sainsbury's and the Lord Mayor Garath Keating, Justin McNulty, Sam Nicholson, Sharon Haughey-Grimley and several groups came along and helped us raise money.
“The Gateway Club and a number of other groups also came along and joined in and played their part as well, so I would like to thank everyone for their support.
“I am travelling out March 16, two days after Cyril and I will be looking after the Team Ireland Facebook and Twitter platforms, so everyone can keep up to date on how Cyril and indeed all of the team are doing during the competition."


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