Jill meets golfing legend Padraig Harrington before Special Olympics

Local golfer, Jill Connery from Scarva, Co. Armagh, received the opportunity of a lifetime to meet with Irish golf champion, Padraig Harrington as she prepares to tee off in Abu Dhabi for the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games this March. Photo by Piaras " M�dheach/Sportsfile
Local golfer, Jill Connery from Scarva, Co. Armagh, received the opportunity of a lifetime to meet with Irish golf champion, Padraig Harrington as she prepares to tee off in Abu Dhabi for the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games this March. Photo by Piaras " M�dheach/Sportsfile

Scarva golfer Jill Connery received the opportunity of a lifetime to meet with Irish golf champion, Padraig Harrington as she prepares to tee off in Abu Dhabi for the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games this March.

In a moment that every golfer would wish for, Padraig Harrington offered some words of wisdom to the team, who are in the final stages of preparation for their unforgettable trip to Abu Dhabi.

Wishing the golfers luck, he also took the time to sign the golf balls that Team Ireland will use in the World Games.

There are high hopes for the team, not least due to the soaring interest in golf as a result of the continuing success of Irish golfers on the world stage.

Irish golfer Shane Lowry recently won the championship in Abu Dhabi, setting the bar for success for Team Ireland.

Jill and her fellow golf athletes are part of a 91-strong Team Ireland squad which will compete on the world stage at the Games. Taking place from March 14-21, Abu Dhabi 2019 will be the largest sporting and humanitarian event in the world this year. Supported by a volunteer management team of almost 40, Team Ireland will join 7,000 Special Olympics athletes from 170 countries at the Games.

Padraig Harrington, a long-time supporter and worldwide ambassador of Special Olympics commented: “Irish golfers are now rated as some of the best in the world. This March, all eyes will be on Abu Dhabi when our inspirational Team Ireland athletes will be teeing off to achieve personal bests on a world class golf course.

“To represent Ireland is a phenomenal achievement and I would like to wish all of the athletes the very best of luck at the World Games.”

Special Olympics Ireland is first and foremost a sports organisation and charity that supports children and adults with intellectual disabilities. To cover the cost of sending Team Ireland to the Games, Special Olympics needs to raise just over £4,445 per athlete.

For information about Team Ireland, visit www.specialolympics.ie