National Rehabilitation Hospital celebrates the success of its Inaugural Spinal Sports Championships 2013
August 30, 2013
NRH Spinal Championships August 2013
Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Cathaoirleach Councillor Carrie Smyth formally opened the National Rehabilitation Hospital Inaugural Spinal Sports Championships at the weekend. A number of Irish paralympic athletes competed in the games including Philip Quinlan, Reena McCarron Rooney, Ronan Rooney and Mark Connolly, and more attended as spectators.
Forty-two athletes travelled from sixteen counties throughout Ireland to compete in the games, and from as far afield as Cork, Donegal and Limerick. The event, held on Saturday 24th August, was organised collaboratively by the National Rehabilitation Hospital, the Irish Wheelchair Association Sport’s Section, Spinal Injuries Ireland and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Sports Partnership.
Addressing the audience at the official opening, an Cathaoirleach, Councillor Smyth said “Inclusive participation is central to the ethos of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. In particular, the Sports Inclusion Disability Programme in the Local Sports Partnership, works towards the inclusion of people with disabilities in sport and physical activity.
Dr. Maeve Nolan, NRH Board Member said “Participation in sporting events has always been a central and important part of rehabilitation at NRH, This championship builds on and adds to the determination within NRH, in conjunction with the Irish Wheelchair Association and Spinal Injuries Ireland, to emphasise the importance of engagement in sport for people following spinal cord injury. Dr. Nolan added “All good things come from small beginnings and it is hoped that this inaugural event will be the first of many; and we can look forward to nurturing, supporting and promoting sporting activities well into the future.
Jean Daly, the current Antrim Rose and a former patient of the NRH also addressed the Audience, which also included current and former patients of NRH. Jean spoke about her involvement in wheelchair sport and the positive impact it had following her injury over 10 years ago. Jean, who is a former Irish Wheelchair Tennis Champion, spoke about the opportunities and life skills being involved in sports afforded her.
Competitive events held onsite at NRH included Wheelchair Table Tennis, field events (Discus, Javelin, Shotput), Archery, Airsoft shooting, while the Hand Cycling race was held in Cabinteely park. Other sports available on the day for people to experience at a non-competitive level included Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Rugby 7’s, and Wheelchair Fencing.
At the presentation of medals Fiona Conroy, Senior Physiotherapist at NRH and Saturday’s Event Co-ordinator said “Today’s championships clearly highlight the huge demand for competitive events in disability sports and we in the NRH look forward to meeting this growing demand in conjunction with our counterparts in IWA sport, Spinal Injuries Ireland and the Local Sports Partnerships nationwide.”