“Trailblazers, you will always have that. As the first ever players with Down Syndrome to play Futsal internationally.
I am sure you are very proud, there is very few people actually in the world that actually go on and played for their country. In any type of sport and any type of football or Futsal. Amazing achievement.
We as an association is very proud of you.” Marc Canham, FAI Director of football on presenting the team with their international caps.
Ireland’s first national Down Syndrome Futsal team was presented with their international caps ahead of the friendly Ireland vs New Zealand game at Aviva stadium on Tuesday 21st November.
Football or All’s Paddy O’Reilly, Head coach Paul Smyth and Marc Canham met with the team and their parents.
“The awarding of a cap to an international player dates back to the 1870s and remains a symbolic gesture, as well as a prized keepsake. Therefore it was important to ensure that all players who featured for Ireland at senior level were eligible to receive this one-off cap that represents their involvement with the team.” In this instance, these caps were hard earned as Ireland’s first international Down Syndrome Futsal team travelled to Padua, Italy, in early September to participate in the Sport Union for Athletes with Down Syndrome (SUDS) European Championships.
The team had a jam-packed week, playing 5 games in 4 days. Turkey, Italy and Portugal have been playing for at least 4 years in different international tournaments and had to stand their ground against the newcomers.
Being first-time competitors did not leave the Irish team at a disadvantage reckoned Máire Hourigan, mom of Futsal player Cian Kelleher from Cork: “Our athletes demonstrated belief and strong heart and operated in a fun-loving way throughout the week. I am so proud of all of them and loved the cohesive way the teams bonded, dressed in their similar attire. Memories were created, experiences were made, and our athletes led the way in style in how they handled themselves, one another, and their opponents. Truly phenomenal ambassadors. Onwards and upwards. There are no limits!”.
A number of the players selected for the squad had previous involvement in Football For All, and were very quick to adapt their skills to Futsal. This event also provided the players with the opportunity to test their skills against other players with Down Syndrome from the other nations involved.
Creating a player pathway for players with Down syndrome in Ireland from grassroots all the way through to International Level, would be the next natural step. By getting more players with Down Syndrome playing Futsal (the International game is Futsal) on a regular basis will mean that the future is bright and more players can aspire to represent their country at future events.
Paul Smyth, Head coach, were delighted by the team’s performance “The players and families made huge sacrifices all through the year in preparation for the SUDS European Championships. This enabled the team to match more established countries with outstanding performances throughout the tournament.
On behalf of the coaching team, Brendan Corish, Sean Mulligan and myself, we would like to acknowledge the support of the families and supporters who got behind the team and made it such a special experience. It made us all proud to be Irish.
We would also like to recognise the endeavours of those pioneers who worked tirelessly on this project, the Down Syndrome Louth and Meath Branch and the unbelievable support of the communities and businesses.
It was a pleasure to be involved with this historic group of players.”
Children’s Christmas Party (for 0 – 13ish-year-olds)
Down Syndrome Ireland – Louth/Meath Branch are delighted to announce that the Children’s Christmas Party will take place this year in the spectacular Trim Castle Hotel
Sunday 3rd December from 2 PM – 5 PM.
Parents are asked to please arrive early to drop in their presents for their other children.
Santa will visit the party and present a gift to each of our children with Down Syndrome, sponsored by the Branch. As it is a lovely family event, we would impress upon you the importance of bringing gifts for your other children who will attend the party. Clearly mark each name and age on the gift wrap and present it to one of the organisers on the day. We do not want any child to be without a present from Santa!!
Please note there will be light refreshments served and entertainment provided on the day.
RSVP: Text Brendan Stephenson at 083 8972044 or email email@example.com with the following details:
NAME OF CHILD WITH DOWN SYNDROME
AGE OF CHILD
NO. OF SIBLINGS ATTENDING
NO. OF ADULTS ATTENDING
THE FINAL DATE FOR REPLYING IS Wednesday 29th of November 2022.
Branch Membership Renewals for 2024 will be accepted on the day. Christmas Cards will also be on sale on the day.
Note: Presents will only be given to Children who attend the party.
Christmas Party for Teenagers/AdultsDown Syndrome Ireland – Louth/Meath Branch are delighted to announce that the Christmas Party for Teenagers/Adults will take place this year with a Disco, and finger food on
Friday 1st December from 7.30 PM till late
Balreask Bar & Restaurant Navan.
The theme of the night is “Jingle Bells Rock”
Wear your most Christmasy Jumper/Tops/Hats. The more Christmasy the better
A great night guaranteed
If attending, please text Eleanor Cosgrove at 087 6671393 with the name of the teenager/ adult with Down Syndrome and the number of siblings/other adults attending.
The final date for replying is Saturday 25th November.
Branch Membership Renewals for 2024 will be accepted on the night.
Christmas Cards will also be on sale on the night.
The group is run fortnightly and is facilitated by Louise Tully.
- Lots of Lámh – Louise will be providing each parent who is interested in learning Lámh signs with specific signs for each session.
- Language activities – Louise will be introducing See and Learn sounds and vocabulary activities for each child and work with them on which level they need to start with and work on their individual levels.
- Messy play – Louise will have a targeted messy play activity for each session with lots of opportunities for the kids to experiment and play with lots of different textures.
- Music and song – Louise will have a structured nursery rhyme to work on each session, with signs included as well as providing lots of opportunities for music and songs.
- Gross and fine motor – Louise will be working on setting up some areas for tabletop activities like puzzles, ring stackers, pink pig etc.
Sort Code 93 10 47
SWIFT BIC: AIBKIE2D
IBAN: IE33 AIBK 9310 4749 3630 06
Account Name: Down Syndrome Louth Meath