Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Special Olympics Ireland cancels Annual Collection Day

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Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

The Special Olympics Annual Collection Day has been cancelled due to the pandemic crisis.

The collection day takes place each April and is the flagship event in the charity’s diary, raising a third of the organisation’s annual funding in one day.



Normally each April, towns and villages across Co. Down are flooded with Special Olympics volunteers but this year the charity is left with no choice but to cancel the fundraising day due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Whilst this was a tough decision for the charity from a financial aspect, it was an easy one when we thought about the health and well-being of our volunteers,” said Matt English, CEO, Special Olympics Ireland. 

“We want to sincerely thank the volunteers, companies, community groups and schools who had already committed to supporting this important fundraising day.

“Safeguarding the health of our athletes, families, volunteers, supporters and staff continues to be our priority and we wish them well during these challenging times,” he added.



Special Olympics Ireland supports nearly 8,000 children and adults with an intellectual disability across the island of Ireland, including local clubs in Co. Down.

Whilst the network of community-based Special Olympics Clubs are currently closed, the charity is working hard to find creative ways to reach out to athletes to ensure they remain physically, mentally and emotionally fit during these challenging times.

Special Olympics Ireland is supporting athletes, families and volunteers across the Ulster region, through the provision of inspiring digital content targeted at health and safety messaging and physical fitness to help keep people safe during these difficult times.

Many volunteers and clubs are also adapting and starting to provide online exercise classes and opportunities for athletes and volunteers to connect virtually.



Special Olympics extended its praise and thanks to all the front-line NHS staff and primary care workers for their bravery and dedication in continuing to provide essential services at this time.

For further information, visit


Keep up to date with all the latest Northern Ireland Coronavirus / Covid-19 news HERE


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