World Games Schedule Wednesday 19th March

As we head in to the final day of competition

The below schedule is in local UAE Time. Abu Dhabi is 4 hours ahead of Dublin.

Please note the schedule is subject to change. For more schedule information you can download the official Games App from your PlayStore and search “World Games Abu Dhabi 2019”

Basketball Time  (Local UAE) Team vs Team
Mens 10.50am Ireland


Football 7 a side Time  (Local UAE)
Kayaking Time  (Local UAE)
Bowling Time  (Local UAE)
Doubles 09:00am
Bocce Time  (Local UAE)
Cyprus v Ireland – doubles men 09:40am
Saudi Arabia v Ireland – doubles men 10:20am
Badminton Time  (Local UAE)
 Singles 10:40am
 Doubles 3:40pm
Mixed 5.00pm
Gymnastics Rhythmic Time  (Local UAE)
Swimming Time  (Local UAE)
100m Breaststroke Jack McFadden 10:48am
4 x 50m Relay 15:38pm
Athletics Time  (Local UAE)
4 x  100m relay TBC


World Game Schedule Tuesday 19th March

The below schedule is in local UAE Time. Abu Dhabi is 4 hours ahead of Dublin.

Please note the schedule is subject to change. For more schedule information you can download the official Games App from your PlayStore and search “World Games Abu Dhabi 2019”

Basketball Time Team vs Team
Female 2.00pm Ireland Bharat
Football 7 a side Time Team vs Team
Male 9am Ireland vs Estonia



Bowling Time (UAE Time)
Mike & Padraig 9.00am
Amy & Roseaire 9.00am
Mark & Hugh 11.30am
Bocce Time (UAE Time)
Doubles v Sudan 9.00am
Doubles v Papua New Guinea 12.20pm
Doubles v China 3.20pm
Doubles v Morocco 4.40pm
Equestrian Time (UAE Time)
Badminton Time (UAE Time)
Sarah Louise – Singles 10.00am
Sarah Louise & Mary – Doubles 3.40pm
Gymnastics Rhythmic Time (UAE Time)
Rachel Murray – Ball, Ribbon, Rope 8.30am
Eimear Gannon – All round 6.30pm
Swimming Time (UAE Time)
200m Backstroke – Peadar Connolly 9.16am
800m Freestyle – Aisling Beacom 10.37am
800m Freestyle – Conor McClorey 12.33pm
100m Freestyle – Emma Carlisle 3.36pm
100m Freestyle – Edel Armstrong 3.44pm
100m Freestyle – Damien Breslin 4.20pm
Table Tennis Time (UAE Time)
Athletics Time (UAE Time)
3000m Alan Power 9.00am
100m – Roy Saville 5.16pm



World Games Schedule Monday 18th March

Team Ireland certainly celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in style with medals and personal bests and the competition continues again today.

The below schedule is in local UAE Time. Abu Dhabi is 4 hours ahead of Dublin.

Please note the schedule is subject to change. For more schedule information you can download the official Games App from your PlayStore and search “World Games Abu Dhabi 2019”


Kayaking Time (Local UAE)
Fergal  Gregory & Oisin Ferry 09:20am
Deirde O’Calllaghan 10:10am
Michelle O’Keane 10:20am
Fergal Gregory 1:00pm
Oisin Ferry 2:00pm
Deirde O’Calllaghan & Michelle O’Keane 2:30pm
Bowling Time (Local UAE)
doubles 11:30am
Bocce Time (Local UAE)
Syria v Ireland 11:00am
Egypt v Ireland 11:40am
Ireland V Palestine 4:30pm
Equestrian Time (Local UAE)
Lee Mitchell 11:45am
Connor Byrne 12:00pm
Badminton Time (Local UAE)
Algeria v Ireland 3:00pm
Ireland V Hellas 5:00pm
Gymnastics Artistic Time (Local UAE)
Ball ribbon , rope – Rachel Murray 8:30am
John Keenan – Vault 1:00pm
Eimear Gannon – all around 6:30pm
Swimming Time (Local UAE)
Emma Barrett (200m breast stroke) 3:55pm
Peader Connolly (200m Breast stroke) 4:33pm
Jack Mc Fadden ( 200m breast Stroke) 4:40pm
Table Tennis Time (Local UAE)
Ireland V Hellas 10:30am
Ireland V Tunisia 11:30am
Ireland V UAE 2pm
Ireland V Egypt 3pm
Athletics Time  (Local UAE)
400m final – Bendan Mc Guire 11:40am
Pent High Jump – Connor Meade 9:50am
400m walk – Katie Dillion 3:30pm
400m Walk – Gary O’Sullivan 3:40pm
Soft ball throw – Shannon Nixon 3:20pm

World Games Schedule Sunday 17th

The days are flying by and Team Ireland are going from strength to strength. As the world celebrates St. Patrick’s Day Team Ireland have a busy day of competition ahead of them.

The below schedule is in local UAE Time. Abu Dhabi is 4 hours ahead of Dublin.

Please note the schedule is subject to change. For more schedule information you can download the official Games App from your PlayStore and search “World Games Abu Dhabi 2019”

Basketball Time (Local UAE) Team vs  Team
Male Basketball 11:50am Ireland vs France
Female Basketball 11:50am Ireland vs Egypt
Football 7 a side Time (Local UAE) Team vs Team
Match 10:30 Ireland vs Aruba


Golf Time (Local UAE)
Simon Lowry – Divisioning 8:50am
Simon Lowry – Divisioning 8:50am
Ireland v United States 9:20am
Ireland v Netherlands 9:40am
John Keating – Divisioning 10:10am
Jill Connery – Divisioning 12:10pm
Bowling Time (Local UAE)
Singles 9:00am
Doubles 4:00pm
Bocce Time (Local UAE)
Ireland v Iraq 9:00am
Ireland v Morocco 10:20am
Female Singles 9am
Badminton Time (Local UAE)
Ireland v Singapore Womens Singles – Sarah Louise 11:20am
Ireland v UAE Mens Singles – John Doyle 11:20am
Kayaking Time (Local UAE)
Postponed until 18th March due to high winds
Swimming Time (Local UAE)
Emma Barrett 200m 9:13am
Emma Carlisle 200m 9:13am
Edel Armstrong 200m 9:25am
Jack McFadden 200m 10:25am
Table Tennis Time (Local UAE)
Athletics Time (Local UAE)
Brendan Maguire – 1500m 8:30am
Gary O’Sullivan – Shot Put 10:20am
Shannon Nixon – 25m 10:39am
Katie Dillon – Shot Put 3:20pm
Conor Meade – Pentathlon Long Jump 3:30pm
Roy Saville – 200m 5:40pm
Conor Meade – Pentathlon Shot 5:55pm

World Games Schedule Saturday 16th March

Team Ireland got off to a flying start on Friday and there is more excitement to come as we look to the events for Saturday.

The below schedule is in local UAE Time. Abu Dhabi is 4 hours ahead of Dublin.

Please note the schedule is subject to change. For more schedule information you can download the official Games App from your PlayStore and search “World Games Abu Dhabi 2019”





Spectacular Opening Ceremony signals the start of the World Games

After a spectacular and electrifying opening ceremony the World Summer Games 2019 are now officially open!

The ceremony took place at the Zayed Sports City where the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE’s Armed Forces officially welcomed more than 7,500 athletes and 3,000 coaches, representing 200 nations, for seven days of incredible Olympic-style sports and a celebration of the human spirit.

Thousands of family, dignitaries and supporters filled the stadium to welcome the athletes and and stars including Avril Lavigne and Luis Fonsi provided the soundtrack to the night. Including a thrilling rendition of the official World Games anthem ‘Right Where I’m Supposed To Be’ for the very first time.

With the voices of hundreds of children still echoing around the stadium, thousands of Special Olympics athletes entered the arena.

Legendary British DJ Paul Oakenfold electrified the stadium with his world-famous selection of uplifting house music and entertained athletes as they walked and danced into the arena.

Team Ireland received a rousing cheer from the stands as they entered, led by Clare native Mairead Moroney, one of the oldest athletes to compete at the Games this week.

Their pre-Ceremony celebrations were just as energetic and were enjoyed by Special Olympics USA!


Timothy Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics, delivered a heartfelt and inspirational message to the UAE and the world.

 “You have won the most important race already; yes you will compete, and yes you will prove yourselves and yes, you will take home medals but please know, by your open hearts and freedom, you have already changed the course of history; by your competitive spirit, you have already changed the face of sport; and by marshalling the energies of love and sharing them with us all, you  have already won the gold medals.”

One of the last ceremonial aspects of the show was the arrival of the Flame of Hope, carried by athletes from all seven continents and officers from the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, the torch circled the stadium as a festival of Emirati cultural performances, traditions and dances were played out on center stage.

To a heart-pounding drum beat, the crowd watched displays of UAE traditions, such as the sharing of gahwa coffee, as the torch was passed from runner to runner, each igniting their own symbolic flame.

The runners then gathered around a cauldron to light the Special Olympics flame that will burn for the duration of the World Games.

As the Special Olympics Flame burned brightly and the official anthem filled the air, the final curtain was brought down on a spectacular Opening Ceremony that signaled the beginning of seven days of incredible sport, human endeavor and unity.


Team Ireland are in action today in many sports and the full schedule is available here 

Photos from the Opening Ceremony are on the Special Olympics Ireland Facebook Page and please continue to share all of your Games moments and stories on our social channels

Facebook       @SpecialOlympicsIreland
Twitter            @SOIreland
Instagram       @specialolympicsireland
LinkedIn          SpecialOlympics Ireland

#TeamIreland  #PlayYourPart  #AbuDhabi2019

World Games Schedule Friday 15th March

With the spectacle of the Opening Ceremony on Thursday evening all eyes now turn to competition. The below schedule is in local UAE Time. Abu Dhabi is 4 hours ahead of Dublin.

Please note the schedule is subject to change. For more schedule information you can download the official Games App from your PlayStore and search “World Games Abu Dhabi 2019”

Schedule for Friday 15th March 

And they are off!! Team Ireland depart for Abu Dhabi

There were exciting scenes at Dublin Airport on Thursday as 91 athletes from right across Ireland got set to jet off to Abu Dhabi for the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games.

The athletes gathered in the airport from early morning with their family and friends before walking through a guard of honour from their loved ones and boarding their flight, with dreams of success in their various sports.

Before their departure many of the Team did interviews with local papers, radio and TV and many of them spoke about the pride of representing Team Ireland and excitement of what lays ahead.

With 350 family and friends also making the trip to support their loved ones, Ireland is set to be one of the best supported nations at the Games. Second only to the United States, this wealth of encouragement is certain to give Team Ireland the edge as they step up to compete.

Team Ireland will compete in 12 sports: athletics, badminton, basketball, bocce, bowling, equestrian, football, golf, gymnastics, kayaking, swimming and table tennis. The athletes’ selection comes after three years of training and competition, preparing them for their biggest sporting challenge to date.

Team Ireland are currently preparing for their World Games experience with a visit to Dubai as part of the Host Town programme. During this time, the athletes have an opportunity to acclimatise to their surroundings with a range of cultural events and activities before the official Opening Ceremony on Thursday 14 March.

The Opening Ceremony, which will take place at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City Stadium, is set to be a spectacular celebration of humanity at its best. More than 40,000 spectators will witness 170 nations take place in a celebratory parade, with the athletes being accompanied by a number of international celebrities including singer and Special Olympics Global Ambassador, Nicole Scherzinger.

We will be providing regular updates from Team Ireland right here on on our social media channels so stay tuned and make sure to tag us in your photos as we celebrate these incredible athletes!

For all the photos from the Team Departure Click Here

Link to Newstalk coverge

Irish Times coverage coverage



Athletes to officiate at World Games

In addition to the athletes and coaches participation in the Games, Special Olympics Ireland is also represented by 15 officials. They will join other officials from countries across the world to ensure best practice of having international representation for officials and judging positions. The 8 Special Olympics Ireland officials will officiate the following sports:  athletics, badminton, basketball, bowling, equestrian, gymnastics, judo and volleyball.

There are also  2 International Technical Officials who have been selected to travel to the Games. They are the final authority in the sport in relation to sports rules and the application of the general rules of Special Olympics. The two technical officials from Ireland will work in basketball and bowling.

There is also an IT expert travelling to support the host Local Organising Committee to manage and collate the results, a key role in the success of this prestigious sporting event.

We are honoured to have 5 athletes qualify to act as table officials in basketball. Philomena O’Hare, Andrew Byrne, Fiona Brady, Denis O’Gorman and George Fitzgerald are all fully qualified officials through Basketball Ireland and actively officiate at matches in Ireland, both Special Olympics and mainstream. They will be joined by fully qualified mentors who will support them during the Games.

It is an honour to have these athletes officiate at the Games, even more so when Special Olympics Ireland are only one of two programmes worldwide to have athletes selected to these positions.

It is testament to the dedication of the work and commitment of the athletes, club coaches, governing bodies and Special Olympics Ireland to enable the athletes to take on such an important role.


Best of luck to all the officials selected to officiate at World Games Abu Dhabi!

Athletics Pauline Nugent
Badminton Catherine Dolphin
Badminton Daniel Hurley
Basketball Mary Phelan
Equestrian Roseleen Barry
Equestrian Brid Keegan
Equestrian Shirley MacDermott
Gymnastics (Artistic) Liam O’Toole
Judo James Mulroy
Volleyball Pamela O’Donnell
Basketball Athlete Official Philomena O’Hare
Basketball Athlete Official Andrew Byrne
Basketball Athlete Official Fiona Brady
Basketball Athlete Official Denis O’Gorman
Basketball Athlete Official George Fitzgerald
Basketball Mentor Ronan O’Flynn
Basketball Mentor Deborah McArdle
Basketball Mentor Megan Garry
Basketball Mentor Mary Davitt
IT/ Games Management System Pat Doherty
Basketball Technical Delegate Bernie Priestley
Bowling Technical Delegate Elaine Twomey

Using Tai Chi to prepare for the world stage

Strong Minds is one of 7 disciplines in the Healthy Athlete Programme offered in Special Olympics Ireland. A relatively new discipline, Strong Minds is already having a huge impact on the lives of so many athletes including basketball player Grace Hamilton who is travelling to Abu Dhabi in March.

We caught up with Grace at the official Team Ireland launch and discussed how she is using Tai Chi to prepare her mind for the biggest game of her life.

From Antrim Town, Grace is a member of Antrim Borough Special Olympics Club and was introduced to Tai Chi at a Special Olympics Workshop,

“It was something that I felt that I could connect with. It reminded me of a programme we did in school called Primary Movements which helped with my dyslexia. It relaxes me right down, I can feel all the stress and negative energy just going out through my fingertips, I can feel it just going down”.

Noticing the benefits and positive effect of Tai Chi, Grace and her mum started practicing the movements each evening at home and it has now become a family event with dad Martin and even her dog Molly getting in on the practice!

Speaking about the new family routine, Grace’s mum Clare, a trained counsellor who also has dyslexia, explained the benefits of Tai Chi

“It is well noted that for anyone with dyslexia, their brain is going all the time so you are constantly thinking and because we are visual thinkers not only do you have your thoughts but you also have the visual action of it all so there is very little space and time for just relaxing”

Cáit Donnelly Clinical Director of Strong Minds, knew she needed to enlist the help of Tai Chi experts in Ireland.

I trained as Clinical Director in 2016 at the New York State Summer Games in Rochester, and it was here that I was introduced to Tai Chi and how it could be used within the Strong Minds discipline. When I saw how the athletes in New York responded to the Tai Chi exercises I knew that this was something I was going to have to bring to our Strong Minds discipline in Ireland

Not long after this Cáit met Sinéad & Charles from Tai Chi your way  and they began working together on ways to integrate and offer Tai Chi to Special Olympics Ireland athletes.  Sinéad & Charles have worked with athletes and coaches of Team Ireland during their residential training weekends to help them prepare for all the stresses competing in the World Games will bring, on and off the sports field.

Leading the team in some simple Tai Chi moves after a long hectic day of training has had a positive effect on the athletes and their overall experience during their training weekends.  Grace was delighted to see Charles in the queue for dinner one evening in particular “I had a bit of a headache and wasn’t feeling great but when Charles came around in the queue I was really happy and I was so glad to do it, I really needed it.”

Charles and Sinéad have spent some time with the Team and find the benefits are evident both in a sporting environment and everyday life

The customised exercises that Grace and the other athletes have learned harmonise body, mind and breathing. They quickly help the athletes to think and feel in a calm, focused way in sports and everyday life. We are delighted that Grace and her family are getting so much out of their Tai Chi practice. It just goes to show how even a few minutes a day can really make a difference.

 As focus now turns from training to travel and competition, the athletes and coaches of Team Ireland are now equipped with the Tai Chi exercises and practices that will help them enjoy the biggest challenge of their sporting careers.

If you would like more information about Strong Minds you can email

To follow Grace and the rest of Team Ireland as they prepare for World Summer Games 2019 subscribe to our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.