Irish Athlete With Down Syndrome Raising Funds To Attend Championships
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At the age of 10, Josh Hennessy was playing football in his local area of the Liberties against lads much older than himself. Now, he has been selected to represent Ireland’s first international Down syndrome futsal team to take part in the European Championships.
The competition takes place later this year in Padova, Italy. The 25-year-old, along with the rest of the team, is currently fundraising to cover the costs of the trip. This involves flights, meals, accommodation, and registration fees.
After hearing that he made the squad last month, Josh told the Irish Independent, “I am so happy to think that I have a chance to wear an Ireland shirt for real.”
Meanwhile, speaking to the Dublin Inquirer earlier this month, the team’s head coach, FAI development officer, Paul Smyth said that in preparation for the tournament, “We’ll supply the players with individual training programmes,” adding, “Then, as well, working on their fitness levels.”
Smyth also said they will have several friendly matches over the summer to prepare themselves and will train at TU Dublin’s Blanchardstown campus.
This is Josh Hennessy. He’s from Dublin 8 and is the only player from Dublin to be selected to play for Ireland in the SUDS European Futsal Championships in Italy. He needs to raise €5000 to get there. We’ve given him €2000 so if you can help him reach target details are below. pic.twitter.com/XLcLfJYSjN— Imbibe Coffee Roasters (@garyimbibe) May 17, 2023
Ireland’s representation at the tournament has been made possible thanks to the FAI’s Football for All organisation and the Louth-Meath branch of Down Syndrome Ireland. After trials around the country, the talented 8 were chosen, with Josh being the only Dubliner among them.
You can support Josh’s and the entire team’s fundraising efforts by bank transfer to the Down Syndrome Ireland Louth Meath branch at the following details:
AIB Grafton Street
Sort Code: 931047
Account Number: 49363006
Account Name: Down Syndrome Louth Meath
If you are donating to the team as a whole, be sure to put FUTSAL in the reference or to support Josh, put FUTSAL Josh Hennessy as the reference. Also, be sure to email [email protected] to confirm the contribution.
By supporting this great cause, it gives these hard-working and talented athletes the opportunity to do their country proud by representing us on a big stage. Like Josh, all the players have worked very hard to be selected and hopefully, the Boys in Green get the support they deserve!