Gala Retail continues support of Special Olympics with ‘Let’s Run’ programme
12-week running challenge encourages Special Olympics athletes to take up running at a level that suits them
23 April 2021
Building on the success of its ‘Let’s Run’ programme for athletes in 2020, Special Olympics Ireland and platinum sponsor, Gala Retail, have launched ‘Let’s Run supported by Gala Retail’ for 2021.
‘Let’s Run supported by Gala Retail’ is a 12-week running challenge that encourages Special Olympics athletes to take up running at a level that suits them, training at home, in a park, on local roads, in the garden or on a treadmill – anywhere that is safe to run, and in line with Covid-19 restrictions.
Emily Hurley is one of hundreds of athletes taking part in the challenge after she completed the training in 2020, along with 425 other Special Olympics athletes. In 2020, Emily built up to running 3km and this year Emily hopes to reach her goal distance of 5km.
Speaking about her training, athlete Emily said: “I run three times a week, and I have the support of a Special Olympics volunteer so that really helps. I’m feeling really fit through the Special Olympics Lets Run programme and I can’t wait to get back to my club training sessions when things are allowed open again.”
Emily’s mum, Anne Hurley, also added: “Emily and people with an intellectual disability in general, need routine, they thrive on it. That’s why this pandemic is so hard on Emily.
“Having the structure of the Special Olympics Lets’ Run programme supported by Gala Retail has given her so much focus, it’s really great. She is so happy when she gets back from her run,” she added.
Gala Retail has been a platinum sponsor of Special Olympics Ireland since 2015.
“Special Olympics Ireland is a truly special organisation that does incredible work on behalf of its 10,000 athletes in Ireland,” said chief Executive of Gala Retail, Gary Desmond. “Like all of our businesses and organisations, Special Olympics Ireland faced its own challenges when the pandemic hit in 2020.
“The success of the Let’s Run initiative demonstrated the organisation’s determination to support its athletes and we’re proud to play a role in Let’s Run 2021 – a programme which offers athletes the opportunity to train and connect with one another virtually, with the support of volunteers,” he added.
You can follow the journey of Emily Hurley and other Special Olympics athletes on Gala Retail’s social media channels as they participate in Let’s Run supported by Gala Retail programme until the end of June.