Cookies on Dublin People website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Dublin People website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
How does Dublin People use cookies?
Cookies enable us to identify your device, or you when you have logged in. We use cookies that are strictly necessary to enable you to move around the site or to provide certain basic features. We use cookies to enhance the functionality of the website by storing your preferences, for example. We also use cookies to help us to improve the performance of our website to provide you with a better user experience.
We donít sell the information collected by cookies, nor do we disclose the information to third parties, except where required by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).
Hide Message
  • Southside

Thrillseekers sought for the Polar Plunge

Thursday, 6th December, 2018 7:59am
Thrillseekers sought for the Polar Plunge

Keith Butler, Special Olympics athlete, is pictured at the launch of the Polar Plunge in Sandycove.

Thrillseekers sought for the Polar Plunge

Keith Butler, Special Olympics athlete, is pictured at the launch of the Polar Plunge in Sandycove.

View More Images

WALKINSTOWN native Keith Butler is joining thrill seekers in Dun Laoghaire on December 8, as they take on the challenge of plunging into the icy cold waters of the Forty Foot for the annual Polar Plunge.

A Special Olympics swimmer, Keith is no stranger to the open seas as he represented Ireland at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles in 2015. This June he won gold in the 1,500m sea swim in Seapoint at the 2018 Ireland Games.

One of the biggest community fundraising events for Special Olympics Ireland, the Polar Plunge takes places in seven venues across Ireland and all money raised will go directly to supporting athletes with an intellectual disability in sport.

Always one to support his fellow athletes, Keith has some advice for anyone taking on the Plunge.

“Bring two towels, one for the floor, and one for your hands and body. Bring a hot water bottle and most of all when you jump in don’t panic. Stay calm, move around a bit but don’t panic and rush to get out.”

Regional Fundraising Coordinator, Karen Treacy, said that every day, the athletes of Special Olympics Ireland step up to various challenges, to compete in the sports they love.

“The Polar Plunge sees members of the local community take on their own challenge in support of these inspirational athletes,” she saaid,. “The 40ft Polar Plunge has been one of our flagship Plunges and has an incredible festive atmosphere with carol signing and great local support.”

2019 is set to be another massive year for Special Olympics Ireland as 91 athletes prepare to represent Team Ireland at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi in March.

There are also currently nearly 9,000 athletes training on a weekly basis in Special Olympics clubs across Ireland. Funds raised through the Polar Plunge will go towards the continuation of this programme.

Organisers also paid tribute to those withiut whose support, the staging of this year’s event would not be possible, including the Law Enforcement Torch Run, An Gardaí Siochána, The RNLI, Coastguard, Irish Underwater Search & Rescue Unit and the Civil Defence.

Special Olympics athlete Keith added: “I got to compete in the World Summer Games in Los Angeles in 2015 and know that it is the great work done in the clubs that enables us, as athletes, to progress and achieve our goals.

“Special Olympics is a charity and needs the support of the Irish community to continue their great work. So please, I urge you to come out on the December 8 here at the 40ft. I’ve taken on the challenge, will you?”

Also in attendance at the launch were local members of An Garda Siochana including Cathal Middleton from Clondalkin Garda Station and of course Bear Chills himself, the Polar Plunge mascot.

Families, sports clubs, businesses and individuals are invited to brave the chilly waters of the Forty Foot, where local athletes will be on hand to meet, greet and chat about their experiences in the Special Olympics Programme. 

Those who think they are brave enough to take the Polar Plunge can register at www.specialolympics.ie/polarplunge.

Registration costs just €20 with plungers asked to fundraise an additional amount to support athletes like Keith and the 9,000 athletes training on a weekly basis in Special Olympics clubs across Ireland. 

Sergeant Cathal Middleton of Terenure Garda Station with Damien Flynn, Charlie O’Reilly, Ben Purcell and Cormac Fennell from Cabinteely Special Olympics Football Club with Bear Chills.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here