Dubliner Harry Ward is the Captain of our 38 strong Irish team. Harry brings joy, support and a lot of laughter to Team Ireland and ensures that the week is a smooth and enjoyable experience for the whole team. Harry attended his first Games in 2006 and has been present at all since that date, except for three.
Westmeath native and kidney transplant recipient Noel Marsden said, “he is an amazing captain, always there for everyone. He looks out for the new people and makes everyone feel welcome. Harry doesn’t just support the Irish team, he supports teams from all around the world and other teams recognise his warmth and encouragement.”
Newcomer to the team, Mick O’Shea, a heart transplant recipient from Cork commented on how personally welcome Harry made him feel, “ Harry is brilliant at keeping every single person involved. He has made me feel so welcome as a newcomer. He’s like someone that you have known your whole life. He is the backbone of the team and of course also his long suffering wife Mary is a brilliant team member also.”
Harry competed is the Pétanque, Bowling and Darts events this week in Newcastle. Harry is recognised as a supporter to not only the Irish team but to all teams competing, to organisers and volunteers alike. Team Manager Colin White paid tribute to Harry’s contributions to the team saying, “In all honesty, I couldn’t do my job without Harry, it’s not just when we are away, it’s all the behind the scenes work. I know I just pick up a phone and he is there. He will pre-empt that something needs to be done and will turn up. It’s his complete selflessness, everyone else comes first. He will stand to one side. He is popular amongst all the other teams. The officials have commented on how helpful he has been at venues. He embraces everyone, thanks the volunteers and acknowledges the work of everyone.”
Harry was joined this week at the Games by his wife Mary and both looded forward to attending the Gala Dinner on the final night at the Utilita arena in Newcastle before flying home with most of the team to Dublin on Saturday.