“I used to collect clients and bring them to the club when it first started and I got involved from there. We used to play bowls in Burtonport but we soon realised that it wasn’t suitable for a lot of clients and that’s when we discovered bocce,” he said.
Bocce is an Italian Game which is very similar to lawn bowls. Opposing players and teams play with either red or green balls, competing in singles, doubles and team events. The objective of the sport is to roll a bocce ball closest to the target ball, which is called a pallina.
“I can’t wait to get back at it after the holidays in September. The three lads will be away with the Ulster squad a fair bit but I’m delighted for them and their families,” he said.
Noel’s wife Mary and her sister Brid McCole also work as volunteers at Errigal Sports and Social Club while the work of Margaret Bonner, who runs the Burtonport Community Centre, and Moya Collum in Dunlewey is also invaluable.
The National Special Olympic Games take place in Dublin next summer with the winners going on to represent Team Ireland in the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games which will be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in March 2019.