Brendan Hopes You’ll Join Him For ‘Fenit Polar Plunge’ This Weekend

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Special Olympics athlete Brendan O’Connell braves the water at Fenit Beach with Mascot ‘Bear Chills’ for the launch of Kerry’s first Polar Plunge on December 9th, 2017.

SPECIAL Olympics Ireland are issuing a final reminder about the Fenit Polar Plunge on Saturday December 9 at 11am.

The Kerry fundraiser for local athletes takes place at Fenit Harbour for the first time in this year.

Special Olympics Munster are looking to build on a successful plunge in Cork last weekend as it is a critical fundraiser for people with intellectual disabilities in the province.

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Tralee athlete Brendan O’Connell and Garda Siochana Representative Aidan O’Mahony were on hand to launch the event and Brendan will be using his experience as an open-water swimmer to give advice to first time plungers on the day.

“Swimming is my life,” says the Tralee native. “I train in Fenit in the summer five to seven days a week and it’s often really cold in that water. Also it makes me look like a mad person to do this without a wetsuit. And it makes me a toughie too,” he joked.

Brendan has high hopes for the Special Olympics Ireland Games in Dublin next year. His is a World Games gold medallist and is training hard for an event which only comes around every four years.

2018 is a massive year for Special Olympics in Munster. 387 athletes and 148 coaching and management volunteers from the region will head to Dublin for four days in June for the Special Olympics Ireland Games. 13 sports will feature in venues such as the National Indoor Arena, the National Aquatic Arena and Morton Stadium. Munster’s representatives were selected from regional advancement events over the past 12 months – a lucky few will go on to compete at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi in 2019.

Special Olympics Munster Regional Director Eoin O’Beara says Saturday’s Polar Plunge brings everything that’s good about Special Olympics together in Fenit:

“Athletes are at the heart of the event, with volunteers making sure fans, families and fundraisers have a great time. Sea temperatures are 11.1 degrees which is why we are asking people to get ‘Freezin For A Reason’. The air temperature is forecast to be less than five degrees, so technically it will be warmer in the water!”

Special Olympics athlete Brendan O’Connell (Tralee) with Garda and quintuple All-Ireland Champion Aidan O’Mahony at Fenit Beach for the launch of Kerry’s first Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Ireland on December 9th, 2017.

Eoin also acknowledged the role of the Garda Siochana in the event, who are behind the Law Enforcement Torch Run. The LETR is the awareness and fundraising programme of An Garda Síochána and the PSNI supporting the Special Olympics movement in Ireland.

“This event just wouldn’t happen without them,” he said “and they have been involved with Polar Plunge since the very beginning. This Saturday is primarily about fundraising, so we’d encourage anyone who has yet to sign up to register online or just join us on the day.”

Those who think they are brave enough to take the Polar Plunge can register at www.specialolympics.ie/polarplunge. Registration costs just €20 with plungers asked to raise an additional €50.

All money raised goes directly to supporting athletes with intellectual disabilities in sport and competitions. Plungers who raise more than €50 will also receive a complimentary Polar Plunge T-Shirt.

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