Newtownabbey-based Team Ireland athlete Carole Catling received a major boost to her preparations for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles (LA2015) this week, with a special reception hosted by the US Consul General in Belfast.
The event, which took place on Thursday (June 18) at the residence of Consul General, Gregory S. Burton, honoured local athletes, coaches and families going to LA2015 next month.
It was also a chance to thank the corporate partners and volunteers that have supported Team Ireland through various fundraising efforts.
A number of ambassadors and supporters including former British and Irish Lion, Trevor Ringland and members of the Belfast Giants management team were also in attendance to wish the Ulster based Team Ireland athletes well.
Carole is one of 12 athletes from Ulster set to compete in the Special Olympics World Summer Games in California.
This is a massive year for Special Olympics Ireland, with 88 athletes preparing to travel to LA to compete.
Their selection comes after four years of training and competition. The World Games will take place from July 25 until August 2.
Special Olympics Ireland needs to raise £360,000 (€440,000) to send Team Ireland to the World Games this summer.
Companies and businesses are being called upon to get behind the Support an Athlete fundraising campaign to help raise the necessary funds, details of which can be found at specialolympics.ie.
Shaun Cassidy, Regional Director, Special Olympics Ulster, said: “It was a real privilege for our local athletes to attend this special reception.
“Carole’s training efforts are really stepping up now. It’s a very exciting time for the team, as they prepare to compete on a world stage this summer.”