Dear friends and supporters of the Kerry Stars Special Olympics Club,

On behalf the club, we would like to thank you for taking the time to look at our website and find out a little more about our lovely club.

We are very grateful to the people of Killarney, Kerry and surrounding communities and indeed all over Ireland for the outstanding contribution you have made to the Kerry Stars Special Olympics club over the last 12 years.

We wanted to acknowledge your kindness which has allowed the lives of over 80 athletes change forever. This is due to your spirit of generosity, inclusion and volunteerism.

It was only a short time ago these athletes had no place to go, were not part of any club, had no identity in the community and gave their time looking out their windows, wondering and asking “why can’t I have fun and be part of a club?”.

Due to your incredible support every week, 60 dedicated people including coaches, volunteers and committees make sure that here in Killarney we run one of the strongest Special Olympics programmes for clubs in Ireland. The club supports athletes within a fifty mile radius, training for their events in indoor athletics and outdoor track and field, three football teams, two swimming programmes and basketball skills, ALPS and the Healthy eating program

This Athletes Leadership Program (ALPS) allows athletes who don’t want to take part in sport or are retiring from sport the opportunity to develop in public speaking, drama and organising events and functions.

Over the next year, we will look forward to adding gymnastics and bocce sports to the Kerry Stars club. We are sure by now you are beginning to see how invaluable your support has been to make this a reality since the clubs foundation. Your continuous support going forward will allow the club to run seven different sports, the ALPS program and the healthy eating program and also making sure that all the different abilities are supported within each sport.

 

The athletes have demonstrated courage and determination to allow them to compete to their maximum potential in Kerry competitions, Munster competitions, Ireland Games and on the biggest stage of all at the World Special Olympics Games.

When you add in all the festival and events the club has participated in like St Patrick’s Day parade’s, Summer fest parades, community events, fun runs, fashion shows and lots more you can see how the athletes’ lives have changed forever. They will never be the same.

Recently some of our athletes lost close family members and when they returned to training all their fellow athletes, coaches and volunteers gave them a big hug and that gesture and support creates the clubs ethos of changing and supporting people’s lives every day.

Those couple of hours training each week will take away some part of their pain and allow the athlete the platform for independence, feeling of belonging and friendships to continue in their life in some normality. Twelve years is a short time but the Kerry stars club has changed the lives of so many and you our supporters have made this happen.

And on the second occasion a Kerry Ladies footballer was walking down the street in her gear and kit bag and going up the other side of the street was one of the Kerry Stars footballers in her club gear and kit bag and this surely is the ultimate, Equality and A Place For Everyone.

 

Two special moments but this is the perfect definition why the Kerry Stars is more than a sporting club. It is a large family which includes each and every one of you our supporters whom without your support not one part of this life changing experience for the athletes could have happened.

So to each and every Sponsor, Business, Club, Organisation, Politician, Media Print and Radio, Photographers, Club Patrons and every one of You who has donated money, fund-raised or has helped the club in any way thank you for breaking down the barriers and for giving the Kerry Stars Special Olympic Athletes the chance to be part of an inclusive society.

We hope you enjoy our new website and will continue to support us.

Best wishes from all in the

Kerry Stars Special Olympics Club.