Golf and Football Stars Unite for Special Olympics
May 19, 2015
Stars from the world of golf and football united today at PGA Catalunya Golf Resort to raise funds to send 78 athletes with intellectual disabilities to represent Team Spain at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. Nineteen of those athletes are from Catalunya.
More than 20 teams signed up to play in today’s inaugural Special Olympics Golf Classic hosted by The 2014 Ryder Cup winning captain, ailment Paul McGinley. Teams included football greats Johan Cruyff, Christian Karembeu and David O’Leary, golf professionals Paula Martí from Spain and Peter Lawrie from Ireland, as well as Special Olympics athlete Eduardo Vegas Ochoa from Madrid, who plays off a handicap of 20.2.
PGA Catalunya Resort is regarded as Spain’s number one golf course and is at the centre of Spain’s bid to host The 2022 Ryder Cup. After taking on this challenging course, teams gathered for a fundraising auction which included highly sought after items, such as tickets to the 2015 Superclasico between Brazil and Argentina as well as an FC Barcelona club shirt signed by each team member.
Paul McGinley: “I am really honoured to host the first ever Special Olympics Golf Classic at such a magnificent course as PGA Catalunya Resort and to have so much support today. I want to wish Team Spain every success at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles this summer. My advice is the same advice I gave to Team Europe at The 2014 Ryder Cup, “embrace the pressure but do everything with a smile on your face”.
Juan Antonio Samaranch i Salisachs, member of the International Olympic Committee and Chairman of Special Olympics Spain also attended today’s Golf Classic adding: “We are very grateful that so many sporting heroes have turned out to support our Special Olympics athletes. Our athletes are also heroes as they overcome many challenges to reach their personal best in sport and life. We hope that the whole country will get behind Team Spain and celebrate their achievements in Los Angeles this summer.”
Team Spain will compete in 11 sports at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games which runs from July 25th to August 2nd in sporting venues across Los Angeles. The 78 athletes will compete in 7-a-side football, 5-a-side football, basketball (female), bocce, tennis, swimming, athletics, Unified basketball, table tennis, badminton and handball. To cover the cost of sending Team Spain to the World Games, Special Olympics Spain must raise € 170,000.
Donations can be made to Team Spain by visiting the Special Olympics Spain website: www.specialolympics.es