Slipping, sliding and ice-skating fun in a Christmas wonderland for special needs
By Brendan Grehan
FAMILIES OF children with special needs got a unique Christmas treat last Saturday when “South Dublin on Ice” held a special free inclusive session at the ice rink in the grounds of Tallaght Stadium. What followed was a great morning of unabated fun, with children racing themselves on wheelchairs, skaters versus wheelchairs etc.
The event was driven by Fine Gael councillors Vicki Casserly, Kenneth Egan, Emer Higgins and Brian Lawlor, with the support of the South Dublin Local Enterprise Office and the council’s Sports Officers. They all donned their skates to take children with special needs out on the ice-skating rink as part of a special free session for families of children with special needs.
Cllr Casserly told The Echo: “It was an amazing morning. This is what it is all about. It has been my most satisfying morning since I was elected. We had children racing against each other on wheelchairs. It was just great”.
She added: “This very special session was facilitated, at Fine Gael’s suggestion, for children with disability in our county. In our house we live by the saying find the ability in disability. Thank you so much to the organisers for their enthusiasm in pulling together the morning, and also to the Celtic Clovers Ice Hockey Club for including the kids so well. It was a morning I think we will all remember for a long time.”
Cllrs Kenneth Egan, Emer Higgins and Brian Lawlor agreed it was a super morning on the ice and thanked South Dublin County Council and families from Enable Ireland and Social Circle for supporting this initiative to create some special memories for special children. Kenneth didn’t quite bring an Olympic-winning attitude to the ice rink but Emer said he brought some style and skill nonetheless.
Cllr Lawlor told The Echo: “It’s been a few years since I was on ice, but my colleague Cllr. Vicki Casserly turned Jayne Torville on us and was the perfect teacher to those of afraid of looking like Bambi on ice. A huge thanks to my colleagues Kenneth Egan, Emer Higgins and Vicki who pushed for this brilliant inclusion, which I was very proud to support.”