TOURNAMENT: Kerry Stars Special Olympics and Killarney Lions Club will host a basketball tournament for teams from all over Munster in Killarney Sports Centre tomorrow (Saturday). Pictured at the launch of the event in The Dromhall Hotel Killarney on Monday night were front left: Martina McCarthy, Cliona Palmer, Kevin Looney and Jonathan Kerins. Second row from left: Denis Doolan (Special Olympics International), John Spillane (Kerry Stars Club Chairman), Sean O’Brien (Kerry Stars Basketball Coach), Ronan Doyle (Killarney Lions Club President), Liadh Tobin and Dermot Cronin (Killarney Lions Club). Back from left: Jillian Kerins, Oisin O’Mahony, Jane Curran, Luke Scollard and Anthony O’Connor. Picture: Eamonn Keogh

By Sean Moriarty

Kerry Stars Special Olympics and Killarney Lions Club have come together to create a new basketball tournament that will bring together clubs from all over Munster.

The event will take place in the Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre tomorrow (Saturday), from 10am to 4pm, and will feature seven Special Olympics basketball clubs competing for six perpetual shields for the very first time.

The Kerry Stars extended its sporting range to include basketball for the first time last year.

“When we heard that Kerry Stars were starting basketball as a new sport we wanted to help them in whatever way we could,” Ronan Doyle, President Killarney Lions Club, said.
“They suggested the idea of hosting a tournament to build links with other Special Olympics basketball teams in Munster, and highlight the skills of the athletes, so we thought it was a great idea to get behind it.”

St Paul’s Basketball club will provide timing and scoring equipment while local basketball referee Emer Buckley has encouraged her colleagues from national level to officiate at the event.

Staff from the Nike Store in the Killarney Outlet Centre will also be volunteering on the day along with members of Killarney Lions Club.

“When the Lions Club approached us last year looking to support an annual event we decided that basketball was our newest sport. We decided then that we would organise this tournament,” Kerry Stars Vice-Chairman Tom Tobin said.

Other Special Olympic clubs to participate include Special Olympics Waterford; Limerick City Special Olympics; Lisnagry Special Olympics (Limerick); Mallow United Special Olympics Club; Clonakilty Special Olympic Club and the COPE Foundation Cork.

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