Navan man Francis Power is among 91 Team Ireland athletes making their way to Abu Dhabi ahead of the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games.
Francis (56) from Navan, Co. Meath will represent Ireland in Table Tennis.
He is joined by fellow Team Ireland athletes from right across the island of Ireland, who will compete in a total of 12 sports: athletics, badminton, basketball, bocce, bowling, equestrian, football, golf, gymnastics, kayaking, swimming and table tennis. In total 24 counties will be represented on Team Ireland.
Taking place between 14-21 March, Abu Dhabi 2019 will be the largest sporting and humanitarian event in the world this year. Supported by a volunteer management team of 39, the 91-strong Team Ireland will join 7,000 Special Olympics athletes from 170 countries at the Games. With 350 family and friends also making the trip to support their loved ones, Ireland is set to be one of the best supported nations at the GamesTeam Ireland will prepare for their World Games experience with a visit to Dubai as part of the Host Town programme. During this time, the athletes have an opportunity to acclimatise to their surroundings with a range of cultural events and activities before the official Opening Ceremony on Thursday 14 March.
The Opening Ceremony, which will take place at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City Stadium, is set to be a spectacular celebration of humanity at its best. More than 40,000 spectators will witness 170 nations take place in a celebratory parade, with the athletes being accompanied by a number of international celebrities including singer and Special Olympics Global Ambassador, Nicole Scherzinger.