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Luke brings home Gold at 2018 Special Olympic Ireland Games

Congratulations to South Eastern Regional College (SERC) hospitality student Luke Hollywood from Dundonald who has won a prestigious gold medal with his basketball team, Team Ulster, at the 2018 Special Olympic Ireland Games, Dublin.

Taking place from 14-17 June, Luke’s team made it all the way to the final, with his side finishing victorious with a score of 32 points to 14 against a very strong Eastern Region Team.

Selected athletes from these Games could go on to represent Team Ireland at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.

Luke said “I am so excited that I have won a gold medal. I want to be an ambassador for the sport and encourage others to take it up and winning gold will help me to do just that.”

Coach Aidan Fitzpatrick said “the team have done a fantastic job competing against the top teams from all over Ireland. Luke did a great job and was on the starting team in all 6 games. Winning a Gold Medal is more than we could have ever hoped for. The entire Team has done us all proud.”

Luke trains once a week alongside his studies with the Wizards Special Olympics Club at Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College and has been playing basketball for just 5 years. His idol is Michael Jordan.

A total of 273 Ulster athletes competed in the weekend Games against 1600 athletes from around the world. Team Ulster athletes landed an impressive haul of 250 medals.

During the game, Luke displayed great communication and teamwork skills to help the Team Ulster to victory. His home team Wizards Special Olympics are over the moon and plan to celebrate the success.

SERC principal and Chief executive Ken Webb said “I’d like to congratulate Luke on winning gold. SERC fresher’s can look up to him and he is a fantastic role model for the College. I think he will be a real inspiration for the other students and for them to see what can be achieved through hard work; confidence and determination.”

SERC has a proud tradition of supporting student-athletes in their sporting and academic pursuits, including Rhys McClenaghan who won gold at the Commonwealth Games this year and former student Kevin Seaward finished an impressive fourth place at the Games in the Men’s Marathon. In 2016 Bethany Firth won four medals — three gold and one silver — at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In 2012 student Chloe Brown got the once in a lifetime opportunity to accompany David Beckham and four other young sports people to attend the Olympic Flame Handover in Athens.

SERC affirmed their commitment to supporting their student-athletes a few years ago when rugby legend Stephen Ferris launched their Elite Athlete Programme, designed to provide aspiring elite athletes with the support they need to achieve both academic and sporting excellence.

Applications for all full-time courses are now open and students can apply online at To find out how SERC can help you ‘get the edge’ call 0345 600 7555, visit or find us on Facebook, search: SERC.

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