For more than 38 years, Special Olympics Barbados has worked to empower intellectually challenged children and adults, striving for their acceptance and inclusion in the larger society. More than 800 individuals are enrolled in the organisation through its sports, outreach and health and wellness programmes. All Special Olympics athletes are winners, which is reflected in the Athlete Oath, "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
In 2011, the organisation sent a small team of seven athletes to the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece. They proudly represented Barbados when all of them returned home with World Games Medals from a competition which involved 7,000 athletes from 170 nations.
While most of the participants in Special Olympics Barbados programmes are students in various special units throughout the nation, adult athletes not affiliated with special units also are an integral part of the community served by the organisation.
Special Olympics provides participation in a variety of sports disciplines, including athletics (track & field), bocce, aquatics, football, cricket and golf. In addition to training and conditioning, the athletes take part in the Special Olympics Annual National Games, with each sports discipline having its own separate competition.
On Saturdays at St. Leonards School, young adults and school-leavers take part in training activities which keep them involved in Special Olympics by satisfying their holistic employment, social and cultural needs. Participants are in the second year of stimulating performing arts training. This year, athletes in the Outreach Programme put on display what they had learned and thoroughly entertained Barbados with their stirring annual concert ?Embracing Differences?. Proceeds from the concert will help pay for a tour to another Caribbean nation, where the athletes will have an opportunity to expand their cultural experiences.
Healthy Athletes Screening
The annual Healthy Athletes Screening provides intellectually challenged athletes with comprehensive health check-ups. Participants received free vision checks and eyeglasses, dental, hearing, podiatric, nutritional and general health screening from health professionals, who have undergone training sanctioned and provided by Special Olympics International.
Family Leadership and Support
Families of athletes are always on hand to encourage, cheer and lend their support. Through family education and special focus discussions, Special Olympics Barbados helps maintain a close relationship with the families of athletes.
Coaching intellectually challenged individuals requires a unique knowledge, sensitivity and dedication. Special Olympics coaches are provided with overseas training by Special Olympics International and Special Olympics Caribbean.
Volunteers, Coaches &Teachers
Those who live their commitment to the inclusion of persons with intellectual challenges are essential to every phase of the work done by Special Olympics Barbados. Whether they are coaching, teaching, officiating at events, preparing food and refreshments or serving on committees, those who give of their own time and energy help sustain our programmes.
We can never have enough wonderful volunteers to work in the numerous capacities that our activities demand. To become a Special Olympics Barbados volunteer, please contact our office at 426-9064, email us at hide[email protected]. or submit the Volunteer Application Form.
Sponsors and Supporters
The support provided by corporations, business houses, government ministries, groups and individuals is the financial life-blood of Special Olympics.These generous contributions make it possible for Special Olympics Barbados to sustain and expand its services to the intellectually challenged community.
If you would like to participate personally by giving your financial support, donations can be made directly to the ?Road to the World Games? Fund at CIBC First Caribbean International Bank. The ?Road to World Games? account number is 1001111009.
Board of Directors, Special Olympics Barbados, Inc.
Mrs. Donna King-Brathwaite, Chairman
Ms. Elizabeth Bowen, Vice Chairman, Outreach Director
Mrs. Jacqueline Andwele, Board Secretary
Mr. Cecil Collymore, Treasurer
Mr. Anthony Carter
Mrs. Monica Skinner
Dr. Winston Harvey
Mrs. Lynda Odle, Support Director
Ms. Paula Jemmott
Dr. Jamario Skeete
Mr. Tyrone Greene, Athlete Representative
Mr. Roger Dyall, Training Director
Mr. Edward Thompson, Public Relations Officer
Mr. Victor Chapman, National Director
Ms. Joyann Eli, ( Ex-officio, Ministry of Education & Human Resource Development)
Ms. Mona Alleyne, (Ex-officio, National Sports Council)
Patron: Sir Trevor Carmichael
Ms. Vernetta Browne, Administrative Secretary, Special Olympics Barbados