Name and Position

Cathal Clarke Student Placement Sports Development and Health Promotion

Where do you live?

I was born in Newry but I have lived in Belfast for the past 3 years in student accommodation, studying Sport & Exercise Sciences in Ulster University.

What did you do before joining Special Olympics?

Before joining Special Olympics I was an amateur road and track cyclist for Ireland. I lived in Majorca and Belgium for over 4 months getting the chance to race against the best cyclists in the world and get scouted by professional teams. Fortunately cycling allowed me to be able to travel and race across the world including South Africa, Greece, France, Italy, Belgium and Majorca, an amazing thing to experience at such a young age.

What is your perfect pizza?

Chicken and Pepperoni with a side of Garlic Dip

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Growing up I dreamt of being a professional cyclist living somewhere luxurious like Monaco or Girona. Luckily I got the chance to live my dream for a few months, something many people would only dream of. However I quickly learnt that it wasn’t everything that it seemed due to the lonely lifestyle and lack of support there was for someone in my position. I have now shifted my focus to helping develop sport in Ireland and in particular coaching young cyclists passing down some of the experience that I gained throughout my career.

Club Of The Month

North West Special Olympics

At present we offer basketball on Saturdays and 7-a-side football on Wednesday evenings.

We have been running since July 1998 and will be celebrating our 20th anniversary next year. Training from The Vestry Hall Cairde le Cheile St. Conal’s Hospital Campus Letterkenny. At present we have 3 basketball teams 2 male and 1 female and 1 male 7-a-side team and a number of skills athletes in basketball. 17 of our athletes will have the honour competing in next year’s All Ireland Games 3 in football 14 in basketball.

Volunteer of the Month

Name and a little about yourself.

My name is Nicky McDermott  I am currently a part time student studying a Diploma in Autism Studies through UCC as well as a volunteer. I am also on the board of directors of Cairde Le Cheile an organisation born out of Special Olympics to support people with disability.

What club do you volunteer with and what do you enjoy most?

I have been involved with The North West Special Olympics Club for 17 years in numerous coaching and admin roles.

What is something very few people know about you?

I have Autism

What motivated you to get involved with Special Olympics?

My son was involved with the programme at school form the age of 6 and joined The North West Special Olympics Club when he was 8…….I have been there ever since !

What has been your standout moment?

So many through the years but going to Turkey with our men’s basketball team to represent Ireland at the SO Turkey European Basketball Tournament Istanbul in 2013 was a very proud moment more so because my son was on the team.

Do you think pineapple belongs on pizza?


Athlete of the Month

Name and a little about yourself

My name is Daniel Cannon I am 25 years old and I am studying computers and computer games development at LYIT. I have been involved in Special Olympics since I was 6 years old and have been a member of NWSO Club since I was 8. I have competed in athletics, swimming and football over the years and at present I compete in basketball. My fav TV programs are The Walking Dead and Game of thrones.

What is something very few people know about you

I have been selected for basketball in next years All Ireland Games

What motivated you to get involved with Special Olympics

My School when I was 6 and my mum !

What has been your standout moment

Representing Ireland at the SO Turkey European Basketball Tournament in Istanbul in 2013 it was an amazing experience.

Do you think pineapple belongs on pizza?

Hell yeah !

Contact us

Special Olympics Ulster
106a University Street

T: 028 9023 9023
Twitter: @SO_Ulster
Facebook: Special Olympics Ulster