Angels Launch 2015
Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) was joined today by its official ambassador, Boyzone and television star Keith Duffy and three Paralympic hopefuls to celebrate the launch of the Association’s national fundraising campaign, Angels. The upcoming Irish sports stars celebrated their own individual sporting achievements with the Association at the event also. Paralympic Swimmer James Scully; Irish Handcyclist Declan Slevin and Irish Wheelchair Rugby Player Amy Fitzpatrick each began their sporting careers with the Irish Wheelchair Association through local clubs or sporting initiatives.
With less than a year to go until the start of the Paralympic Games, IWA was delighted to add three new Angels Pins, a Swimming Angel, a Rugby Player Angel, and a Handcyclist Angel to their collection of products this year. The national collection days will take place on Thursday 5th and Friday 6th November where Angels pins and products will be sold in towns and communities nationwide for just €2 each.
Speaking about the Angels Campaign, Kathleen McLoughlin, CEO of Irish Wheelchair Association explained:
The Angels campaign which continues for the month of November will see hundreds of volunteers selling Angels products nationwide to raise funds for the range of services, supports and sports programmes that IWA provides to people with disabilities in towns and communities throughout Ireland.
The sports theme to the new Angels celebrates the fact we are about to enter a Paralympic Year. IWA is the national governing body for wheelchair sport in Ireland and we provide a range of sporting opportunities for participation at all levels, from juvenile right up to elite level. IWA works with groups, sports clubs and local communities, with parents and families, creating opportunities to change people’s lives while also changing perceptions and altering attitudes.
Paralympic Swimmer James Scully, who competed at the London 2012 Paralympic Games finishing a close fifth in the 200m freestyle final and is one to watch for on the starting blocks next September, was delighted to see the inclusion of a new Swimming Angel Pin as part of this year’s campaign:
I have been a member of the Association since I was a child and was always very active within IWA-Sport throughout school. It was during this time that the Association first encouraged and supported me to get involved in swimming. As I pursued a professional career, the Association later assisted me with learning to drive from one of their dedicated driving tuition centres.
Handcyclist Declan Slevin, the current Irish record holder, has been clocking up speeds which could see him up for selection for the Paralympic Games in Rio. Declan is heavily involved with sport at local and community level and emphasized the importance of IWA’s Day Centres, Sports Clubs and teams which are deeply embedded in communities throughout Ireland.
Each week I am involved in training and coaching a local basketball team who compete in the National Irish Basketball League. Sport is an integral part of the community and of Irish Wheelchair Association where members are encouraged to get involved in sport at a level of their choice.
Irish Wheelchair Rugby Player Amy Fitzpatrick who is just one of three female athletes on the national squad also partnered with Keith Duffy as part of this year’s Angels Ambassador team. Amy is appealing to local communities to get behind the Association and purchase an Angels product or text ANGELS to 50300 to make a €2 donation this November:
There are many ways that you can support the Angels Campaign this November. The IWA Fundraising Team will be supporting businesses, colleges, schools and other local organisations with Angels events, raffles and bake sales. The easiest way to support IWA this November is to text ANGELS to 50300 to make a €2 donation.