Games dedicated to Gareth

MUCH MISSED: Gareth Cowin

MUCH MISSED: Gareth Cowin

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MORE tributes have been paid to Special Olympian Gareth Cowin, who died while representing the island in Korea on Tuesday.

The International Organising Committee of Special Olympics have decided that these games will now be re-named ‘Gareth’s Games’ in his memory.

Ribbons are being produced for athletes from all the countries across the world represented at the games to wear during the closing ceremony.

Chairman of Special Olympics Isle of Man, George Campbell, said: ‘We could not think of a more fitting tribute to Gareth. I have been in contact by phone with Beryl Wooldridge, who is heading up the delegation, over the last 24 hours who has confirmed that whilst the team are all very upset they are rallying together and going out and playing their games for Gareth – exactly how he would have wanted it.’

His former headteacher, Adrienne Burnett, of Ballakermeen High School in Douglas, has also paid a tribute.

She said: ‘We were shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden death of Gareth Cowin, a former student at BHS.

‘Gareth was a cheerful and popular boy at school, and had developed into a fine sportsman.

‘As a student Gareth rose to meet some daunting challenges with determination and good humour.

‘We have followed Gareth’s sporting career with great interest and we are very proud of his achievements.

‘All of us who remember Gareth are very sad to hear that he has lost his life at such a young age, and our thoughts and sincere sympathy are with his family.’

Gareth, who was 25, contracted a virus and his family learned on Wednesday he had died.

He was a part of the floor hockey team, which left the island on Friday and arrived in South Korea on Sunday, ahead of the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang on Tuesday.

Gareth had represented the island in 2009 in the World Winter Games in Idaho, USA, and was a part of the World Summer Games football squad in Athens in 2011.

His devastated team-mates played on after his death after his family insisted that that is what Gareth would have wanted.

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