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July 18, 2024
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Tipperary teenager won silver and bronze medals at last year’s World Special Olympics


Carrick-on-Suir Special Olympian Declan Foley has been chosen for the Special Achievement Award in the Annerville Sports Awards, which each year are presented to the Tipperary amateur Sports Stars of the Year.

Declan arrived home in triumph from the World Special Olympics in Berlin last year as the proud holder of silver and bronze medals.

The 16-year-old was the youngest member of the 73-strong Irish team.

However, that didn’t faze him. Competing in the equestrian events alongside fellow Irish team members Noel Coen, Gemma Haire and Leah Fegan, he recovered from a shaky start, as he got used to a very big horse of about 16.2 hands in height while competing against seven great quality riders in his events.

He dug his heels in and put every ounce of his training into action to win a bronze in equitation and a silver in trail ride. It was a great achievement for the teenager, who never sat on a horse until he went to school in Scoil Aonghusa in Cashel.

In winning those two medals at the Special Olympics World Games, he upheld the very proud sporting tradition of his home town Carrick-on-Suir.

He and the other members of Team Ireland were fully deserving of the rapturous reception they received from family and friends on their return to Dublin Airport.

The Tipperary Sports Stars of the Year will receive their Annerville awards, sponsored by Bulmers, from the Tipperary United Sports Panel at the Talbot Hotel Clonmel on Saturday night, January 27.

Some tickets are still available from Sports Panel Treasurer Ken Conway, tel. 087-6784510.

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