Ireland secured third place thanks to Joe McVeigh’s gold in Boccia (Class1) and Alan Weir’s first place in Boccia (Class 2); while Eddie McCrory scooped a bronze in Bowls; and Jim Bailey’s impressive silver in the Kurling. The Northern Ireland Polio Fellowship sent a team to the games for the first time in 2015 and having failed to place in 2015 and 2016, they have now found their feet in style; with two individual golds to take back to Northern Ireland this year and only narrowly missing out on a team silver.
“The Northern Ireland Team have brought so much to the games over the last four years, that it was great to see them perform so well again,” said National Chairman of The British Polio Fellowship, David Mitchell. “They were tipped as dark horses this year and very nearly pulled off second place. They were breathing down the necks of the Yorkshire Region, who managed to hold them off to secure second, but it was close. The winning North West team are very strong and will take some catching, but it is all to play for in 2019.”
The National Indoor Games traces its origins to the original Stoke Mandeville Games. As charity members got older and developed Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), the games moved indoors, to still allow people who have had Polio and now have PPS to meet and compete in a range of sports.
While the Irish will need more results like those from Joe and Alan if they hope to go one better next year, the signs are there that it’s a distinct possibility. Margaret O’Hara and Susan Weir came fourth in Dominoes and a couple of places better could turn transform team bronze for Ireland into silver or better in 2019.
To find out more about The British Polio Fellowship and to learn about the late effects of Polio and Post Polio Syndrome visit www.britishpolio.org.uk