There are 6,000 family members in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, supporting the athletes competing in the Special Olympics World Games. Three of those family members are from Barbados. Maureen Walcott, Maureen’s husband Willoughby, and Maureen’s sister, Marline Abrams, made the journey from Barbados to the United Arab Emirates.
Maureen and Marline are here to cheer on their niece Tiffany Branch. Tiffany is the daughter of Joyann Branch and their brother Califf Alleyne. Willoughby is escorting the two sisters on what is the second visit to Dubai for him and for his wife. Maureen says, “It’s important to support not only her, but all the other athletes because you see how determined they are in terms of the sports they are taking part in. You see the friendly atmosphere among them, the warmth, the love, and that is special to me. I am Auntie for all of them.”
Special Olympics International recognizes that families, “give the type of love, support and encouragement that no one else can.” So special arrangements are put in place to accommodate family members who attend the World Games.
Maureen and Willoughby retired from the Barbados Light and Power Company Ltd. in 2013, so they were also on hand in Los Angeles, California, in 2015 when Tiffany competed at the World Games there and won a silver medal in the 100m and a gold in the 4 x 100m relay. *Maureen adds of Tiffany’s 200m win in Dubai, “I was very proud of Tiffany when she won the gold medal. We always tell her to give of her best, and she did give of her best.”
Maureen’s husband shares her pride. “Willoughby is very, very supportive of Tiffany”, Maureen explains. “If I’m not available to take her to practice, then he is going to be there. He supports all the other athletes as well, and they know him and get along very well with him.”
Auntie Marline retired as Principal of the Grantley Prescod Memorial School in 2018, so this time around she’s free to be part of the family cheering squad in Dubai. “Since 2015,” she reveals, “I had indicated to Tiffany that once I was free to do so and she had gained a place on the Special Olympics Barbados team, I would do everything possible to be here to support her. And here I am!” She explains, “We have an extremely close relationship. Tiffany is a very loving individual. She thinks very, very highly of all family members.” And about being in Dubai Marline says, “It is an extremely long trip, but certainly very worthwhile.” Maureen chimes in, “Well worth the effort.”
*Tiffany had a stellar performance at the 2019 Abu Dhabi Special Olympics World Games. She won a gold medal on the track at 200 metres and a fifth-place ribbon at 100 metres.
The Barbados team arrives at the Grantley Adams International Airport on Friday at 3:25 pm, and the athletes are looking forward to a warm welcome home from families, friends and supporters.
The final day of the athletics competition at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi ended with two ribbons in the sprints. Akintunde Hall and Tyson Browne competed in the men’s 100 metre event in different divisions. Akintunde ran his race in 13.75 seconds for a sixth-place ribbon, while Tyson’s time of 14.67 seconds gained him a seventh-place ribbon. In earlier competition, Akintunde captured a silver medal at 200 metres, and Tyson won a fourth-place ribbon at the same distance.
With four members, the Barbados athletics delegation was among the smallest at the 2019 Abu Dhabi Special Olympics World Games, which involved 7,500 athletes from 190 countries. However, they were able to capture three gold medals and one silver. Abbygaile Mayers came away with two gold medals, one at 100 metres and the other at 200 metres. The other gold medal came from athlete Tiffany Branch as champion in her division at 200 metres.
The team can be proud of their achievements as they head back home via London on Friday, March 22. They will be taking with them great memories of their time in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and many new friendships.
Head coach, Roger Dyall, said the delegation’s goal was to do Barbados proud. “I am satisfied by the performance of the team. They lowered their times with each run. They made an effort to medal in each event and should be proud of their individual effort. I know that the males in the team found the going difficult but with each day, their performances improved.”
Coach Dyall adds, “We were well supported by many, many persons who wished us well and provided information at crucial times. I especially would like to commend the team from Antigua and Barbuda who became our close confidants during these games. We made many friends from all over the world and have invited many persons to pay Barbados a visit. Dyall says, “Our special thanks to those persons who have given us some support. On behalf of the team, we thank you and ask for your continued support.”
The team should feel a sense of accomplishment as they land at the Grantley Adams International Airport around 3:25 p.m. on Friday afternoon.
On day three of the athletics competition, Abbygaile Mayers added another gold medal to her total. She won the women’s 100 metre event in her division on Monday, March 18, at the Police Sports Club Stadium in Dubai. Her time was 13.01 seconds. This was an improvement on her previous personal best of 13.5 seconds. Abbygaile had already won gold in the 200 metre event at these 2019 Abu Dhabi Special Olympics World Games.
Tiffany Branch wasn’t able to add to the gold medal which she won at 200 metres on the first day of competition, but she did win a fifth-place ribbon. Tiffany ran the 100 metres in 16.24 seconds, below her personal best of 15.5 seconds.
Barbados now has a total of three gold medals and one silver at the Special Olympics World Games 2019. The team will not be participating in the relays, so the ladies have completed their events on the track. The men will have their final 100 metre events on March 19.
He clocked 29:07 seconds. This brings the Barbados medals total to three. Abbygaile Mayers and Tiffany Branch won a gold medal each the previous day.
Akintunde’s teammate, Tyson Browne, was also in this race, but did not finish among the medalists. The 200m is an unfamiliar distance for Tyson, who was only entered in this event after his arrival in Abu Dhabi. His time was 30.41, and he captured a fourth place ribbon. He’s more comfortable at the longer 400m and 800m distances. But he gave it his all, exemplifying the Special Olympics athletes’ oath, “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” Both Akintunde and Tyson will compete in the men’s 100m later in the Games, but this time in different races.
Barbados picked up two gold medals on Saturday afternoon, on the first day of the athletics competition in the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Abbygaile Mayers claimed the first medal for her country when she ran the 200m in a time of 26.25 seconds at the Dubai Police Sports Club Stadium, way ahead of the other competitors in her division. Tiffany Branch soon followed Abbygaile’s example, winning the top prize in her division in a time of 34.15 seconds. So Barbados now has two gold medals entered on the medals table standings.
Both Abbygaile and Tiffany were medallists at the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles, California. They will compete in the women’s 100m event at the same venue on Monday, March 18, and hope to acquire more hardware to move Barbados up on the medals table.
Head Coach, Roger Dyall, says, “We were a bit disappointed when we realized that we were not going to run the relay. However, we have refocused our attention to performing well in the events. We have a common purpose of representing Barbados to the best of our ability, and that’s what we aim to do. The athletes want to do Barbados proud.”
All of the athletes were cheered on from the stands by World Games volunteers, Special Olympics officials, media, family members and fans. The Special Olympics athletes’ oath is, “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” This oath was recited by an athlete from the UAE at the start of the competition. There was lots of evidence of that spirit on display on the track.
Let the Games Begin!
By Dr. Sharon Marshall, Special Olympics Barbados Board of Directors
The Barbados delegation to the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi danced across the stage during the opening ceremony at the Sheik Zayed Sports City stadium on Thursday, March 14. I was privileged to cross with them.
Though not part of the official delegation, as an “Honored Guest”, I received my invitation to march with the team only a few days before leaving Barbados for Dubai, the other Emirate which is hosting the athletics competition. I arrived at my final destination around midnight the day before the opening ceremony.
Jetlagged from the long journey by air, the almost two-hour road trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, tired but excited, I tried to wait patiently in the Honored Guests holding area to meet up with the team just before their grand entrance. And then it was time. From monitoring on the large screens in the holding area, I became part of the parade of nations that marched in. But not before exchanging hugs and kisses on reuniting with the team which had travelled to Abu Dhabi on March 6.
Barbados is one of 190 countries represented at the Games. With a contingent of only four athletes, it’s among the smallest. All four of the athletes won gold medals at the last World Games in Los Angeles, and were hoping to repeat. However, there’s been a new development which they only learned of after arriving in Abu Dhabi. Star athlete Tyson Browne who was entered in the 400m and the 800m will not be able to compete at these distances, but will have to settle for the 100m and 200m. In Los Angeles, he won gold medals in the 400m, the 800m and the 4 x 100m relay. The team also won’t be able to run the 4x100m relay. Despite this disappointment, they are making the best of the experience in Abu Dhabi.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces, officially opened the Games in the presence of other UAE rulers, kings and leaders of a number of countries, Special Olympics supporters and fans. It’s the first time that the World Games are being held in the Middle East North Africa region.
So, with the opening ceremony out of the way, let the World Games begin in earnest!
Back in February, Vernetta Browne, Head of Delegation for Special Olympics Barbados, had emailed us an invitation from Digicel Chairman, Denis O’Brien, to a lunch at the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa. This celebration lunch would take place just before the Special Olympics World Games opening ceremony in the evening of Thursday, March 14. In the body of the email, Vernetta stated, “Kindly note I RSVP and accepted the invitation on your behalf.” There was no choice, it seemed.
This invitation was for the official delegation, the family members supporting the athletes and me. As it turned out, the team had moved from their Host Town location in Abu Dhabi over to Dubai, closer to where they would be participating in the athletics. So with early pick-up times and almost two hours of travel back to Abu Dhabi before the opening, only the family members and I got to go to the lunch. Since there were some places available, Maria Mulcahy, CEO of Digicel’s Iris O’Brien Foundation and Head of Philanthropy for the Digicel Group, joined us at the Barbados table.
Apart from Barbados, representatives from 22 other countries where Digicel operates around the world were also invited. The Iris O’Brien Foundation had facilitated the participation of 380 Special Olympics athletes in the World Games. The company’s ongoing support of Special Olympics has seen it providing donations in cash and kind, infrastructural support, help with fundraising activities and more in all of its markets. This lunch was to celebrate with the teams and wish them well.
Mary Davis, CEO of Special Olympics International, was a special guest and one of the speakers before lunch was served. The highlight for me though was hearing from Olympian Bob Beamon. The American athlete is best known for his world record in the long jump at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968. While his world record stood for almost 23 years until Mike Powel broke it 1991, Beamon’s jump of 29 ft 2 1⁄2 in is still the Olympic record and the second longest wind legal jump in history.
Beamon told guests at the lunch that the thrill of victory in Mexico does not compare with the how he feels about his involvement as a Special Olympics Global Ambassador. He was inspired to get involved because of his brother, who won a Special Olympics medal. Beamon is also a Global Ambassador for a footwear company which launched a new line of athletic shoe in honour of the 50th anniversary of his legendary jump. They teamed up to outfit more than 7,500 Special Olympics athletes with these shoes.
Special Olympics Barbados (SOB) has sent a team of four athletes to participate in the Special Olympics World Games 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) from March 14-21. The athletes are Tiffany Branch, Tyson Browne, Abbygaile Mayers and Akintunde Hall.
Even though Barbados is fielding a much smaller delegation than for the last World Games, the team fancies its chances of returning home with medals, since all of the athletes came home from the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles, California, with medals. Tiffany won a silver medal in the 100 metres and a gold in the 4 x 100 relay; Tyson won gold medals in the 400 metres, the 800 metres and the 4 x 100 metre relay; Abbygaile won a gold medal in swimming for the 25-metre backstroke; and Akintunde won a gold medal in the 4 x 100 metre relay. Barbados gained a total of 8 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze medals in track and field in 2015. When the medals awarded for team sports, such as football, bocce and track & field and aquatics relays are added, our athletes came away with a total of 36 medals.
Officials accompanying the athletes will be Head of Delegation, Vernetta Browne; Head Coach, Roger Dyall; Assistant Coach, Janita Austin; Team Doctor, Dr. Lynn-Marie Lovell; and Chairman of the SOB Board of Directors, Elizabeth Bowen. Ms. Bowen says, “Special Olympics Barbados is truly grateful to our main sponsors, the Abu Dhabi Local Organising Committee and Digicel Barbados, for their generous support to enable our athletes to take part in the World Games this year. We are also indebted to the Ministry of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports and our other supporters in this venture.”
Barbadians will be among 7,500 athletes from more than 190 nations expected to
participate in the Opening Ceremony at the Sheik Zayed Sports City arena in Abu
Thursday, March 14.
Olympics is the world’s largest humanitarian sporting event and a global movement
which focuses on the empowerment of people with intellectual disabilities
through the power of sport. This will be the first Special Olympics World Games
to be hosted in the Middle East North Africa region since the movement’s
founding over 50 years ago.
TIFFANY BRANCH participates in the 100 metres, and has a personal best of 15.5 seconds.
Tiffany took part in the 2015 World Summer Games in Los Angeles, California, USA, where she won a silver medal in the 100 metres and a gold in the 4 x 100 relay.
She says, “I have met several new friends since joining Special Olympics.” Tiffany is excited at the prospect of getting on the track at the 2019 World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. She is also looking forward to meeting the other athletes, since she loves the happiness and the hugs.
Tiffany trains two to three times a week, and her goal is to represent her country to the best of her ability.
TYSON BROWNE is looking forward to participating and doing his best at the 2019 World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
He’s a veteran of the 2015
World Summer Games in Los Angeles, California, USA, where he won gold medals
in the 400 metres, the 800 metres and the 4 x 100 metre relay. Tyson’s personal
bests are 1:15 in the 400 metres, and 2.25 in the 800 metres.
His role model is Barbadian national hurdler, Ryan Brathwaite. He trains two to three times a week, and his goal is to be number one in his event.
AKINTUNDE HALL won a gold medal at the 2015 World Summer Games in Los Angeles, California, USA, in the 4 x 100 metre relay. It’s one of the accomplishments that he is most proud of. His personal best is 13.5 seconds in the 100 metres.
Akintunde says his life has changed since joining Special Olympics, because “I get to travel more often and meet new people from all over the world.”
His events are the 100 metres, 200 metres, and the 4 x 100 metre relay. Akintunde’s other interests are playing basketball and cycling.
ABBYGAILE MAYERS is aiming to win a gold medal at the 2019 World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
With that goal in mind, she’s been training five days a week for the past year. Her events are the 100 metres, 200 metres, and the 4 x 100 metre relay. Abbygaile’s personal best is 13.5 in the 100 metres. She won a gold medal in the 25-metre backstroke at the 2015 World Summer Games in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Her role model is national athlete Akela Jones, and Abbygaile says she’s like her role model because “I think that I have the same type of determination to achieve.”
Swimming, music and dancing are her other
A research study conducted in 2016 found that Barbadians generally are unclear about the appropriate language to use when referring to people with intellectual disabilities, and many respondents were still using inappropriate language such as “retarded”, “foolish” or “stupid”. The Special Olympics Barbados study, *An Assessment of Attitudes in Barbados Towards People with Intellectual Disability, is part of a public awareness campaign funded by the European Union.
The findings of the
study, conducted by Dr. Janice Cumberbatch of the University of the West
Indies, reveal a number of significant issues and challenges faced by persons
with intellectual disabilities as they seek understanding, acceptance and inclusion
in the larger society.
These are only a few of the findings of the study. Click here to see the entire research study and the recommendations resulting from the study.
*The research study was produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of the study are the sole responsibility of Special Olympics Barbados and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.
Intellectual disability (ID) is a term used to describe a person with certain limitations in cognitive functioning and other skills, including communication and self-care. These limitations can cause a child to develop and learn more slowly or differently. Intellectual disability is the most common developmental disability.
Alma Parris and Ellerton Repeat as Football Champions
A stunning display of skill and team play earned the athletes of the Alma Parris School successful protection of their senior division football crown. In the recently concluded Special Olympics Barbados National Games Football Tournament, Razzaq Goddard scored 6 goals in the competition to lead his team to victory and another championship. Goddard was a member of the silver medal winning Barbados football team at the 2015 Los Angeles Special Olympics World Games.
Second place in the senior division was won by newcomer to the annual tournament, the Derrick Smith School and Vocational Centre, behind a blistering 5 goal performance by Davio Harding, who was named Most Outstanding Senior Player. Third place senior honors went to the Learning Centre, thanks in part to high-scoring Ajani Blackman who racked up six goals in the tournament. Blackman was also a member of the silver medal winning Barbados team at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.
In the junior division, there was another repeat champion as
the Ellerton Primary Annex took top honors. Second place went to the Erdiston
Special School, but not without some strong opposition from the third-place
Charles F. Broome Special Unit. The future of Special Olympics football in
Barbados is very bright because the younger players are sharpening their
skills, such as Jabari Reid of Charles F. Broome, who scored 5 goals on his way
to being named Most Outstanding Junior Player. Click here to see all the action in photos.
Gold: Tyson Browne, 400 metre run, 800 metre run; Felicia McLennan, bocce singles; Abbygaile Mayers, aquatics, 25 metre backstroke; Leander Brathwaite, golf; Kofi Cadogan, aquatics, 25 metre freestyle; male 4x100 metre relay (Tyson Browne, Raymond Delphi, Korey Kellman, Akintunde Hall); female 4x100 metre relay (Sharnara Cain, Rosie Murray, Nikita Maycock, Tiffany Branch)
Silver: Seven-a-Side Football Team (Karlitos Adamson, Marquis Alleyne, Tre Best, Ajani Blackman, Razzaq Goddard, Shaquon Harding, Nicholas Jordan, Shaquille Lewis, Adam Thompson and Richad Williams-Barrow.); Unified Bocce Team (Felicia McLennan, Patrick Hinds, Nadia McLennan, Rico Wiggins); Nikita Maycock, 100 metre run; Tiffany Branch, 100 metre run; bocce doubles (Patrick Hinds, Rico Wiggins)
Bronze: Patrick Hinds, bocce singles; Korey Kellman, 200 metre run; Nikita Maycock, 200 metre run; bocce doubles (Felicia McLennan, Nadia McLennan)
4th Place Ribbon: Kofi Cadogan, aquatics, 25 metre backstroke; Jay Tee Brathwaite, aquatics, 50 metre backstroke; Desiree’ Hinds, golf; Sharnara Cain, 200 metre run; aquatics 4x25 metre freestyle relay (Abbygaile Mayers, Kofi Cadogan, Dion Ellyatt, Jay Tee Brathwaite)
5th Place Ribbon: Korey Kellman, 400 metre run; Rosie Murray, 100 metre run; Abbygaile Mayers, aquatics, 25 metre freestyle; Tiffany Branch, 200 metre run
6th Place Ribbon: Akintunde Hall, 200 metre run; Raymond Delphi, 1500 metre run
7th Place Ribbon: Jay Tee Brathwaite, aquatics, 50 metre freestyle; Sharnara Cain, 100 metre run; Dion Ellyatt, aquatics, 50 metre freestyle; Rosie Murray, 200 metre run8th Place Ribbon: Akintunde Hall, 400 metre run
The two final races of the World Games for the track and field athletes were the female and male 4-by-100 metre relays. The female team of Rosie Murray, Nikita Maycock, Sharnara Cain and Tiffany Branch sped around the Locker Stadium track at the University of Southern California to win the gold medal. The bright and shiny gold also went to the swift male team of Raymond Delphi, Korey Kellman, Akintunde Hall and Tyson Browne. Raymond Delphi had double duty on the final day of track and field action, capturing a 6th place ribbon in the 1500 metre run.
The bocce court at the Los Angeles Convention Center was the venue for final day silver and bronze medal wins for Special Olympics Barbados. The bocce doubles team of athlete Patrick Hinds and unified partner Rico Wiggins captured the silver medal in the bowling game, and the bronze medal went to the daughter and mother bocce doubles team of athlete Felicia McLennan and unified partner Nadia McLennan. In Special Olympics unified competition, athletes who have intellectual disabilities are teamed up with partners who do not have intellectual challenges.
There was also final day competition in aquatics at the World Games. The team of Dion Ellyatt, Kofi Cadogan, Abbygaile Mayers and Jay Tee Brathwaite swam an impressive race to win 4th place ribbons in the 4-by-25 meter freestyle relay.
Pictured above the daughter and mother bronze medal winning bocce doubles team of athlete Felicia McLennan and unified partner Nadia McLennan.
Another Day Full of Medals for Barbados at the Special Olympics World Games
Golf is the newest Special Olympics Barbados sport, but this is one case where newness does not detract from excellence. Leander Brathwaite and Desiree’ Hinds were introduced to the discipline a short year-and-a-half ago at the Barbados Golf Club, which plays host to the programme. Under the expert guidance of head coach Jaleel Marshall and his father, assistant head coach David Marshall, who are both Barbados Golf Club instructors, Leander and Desiree’ made their presence known in a big way at the 2015 Los Angeles Special Olympics World Games. Leander won the gold medal and Desiree captured 4th place in individual skills competition against stiff competition from an international field of Special Olympics golfers.
Gold also emerged for Barbados from the swimming pool when
14 year old Kofi Cadogan captured the first place in the 25 metre freestyle.
His teammate, 11 year old Abbygaile Mayers, who had a day earlier won gold in
the 25 metre backstroke, came back to take 5th place in the 25 metre
freestyle. Both Cadogan and Mayers joined teammates Dion Ellyatt and Jay Tee
Brathwaite in the 4-by-25 metre relay.
One of the most competitive disciplines faced by Barbados athletes was seven-a-side football. The teams from the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, were strong and a spirited group from Hong Kong was added to the mix. The T&T footballers would capture the gold medal, but the tenacity of the Barbados team (Karlitos Adamson, Marquis Alleyne, Tre Best, Ajani Blackman, Razzaq Goddard, Shaquon Harding, Nicholas Jordan, Shaquille Lewis, Adam Thompson and Richad Williams-Barrow) led them to a silver medal.
The Barbados track and field contingent, which had already racked up three gold, one silver and one bronze medal, added to their count when Nikita Maycock captured a bronze at 200 metres. Sharnara Cain placed 4th, and Rosie Murray 7th at 200 metres.
Everywhere Tyson Browne walks around the campus of the University of Southern California he is greeted by fans who shake his hand or snap pictures with him. His celebrity status is well-earned because the Barbados middle-distance runner is proudly wearing two gold medals around his neck. After capturing gold at 400 metres, Browne returned to the track to win his second gold at 800 metres at the 2015 Los Angeles Special Olympics World Games.
But Tyson Browne is not the only Barbados athlete who is enjoying the fame of golden accomplishment. Felicia McLennan also wears a gold medal after winning the bocce singles competition and her second medal at the World Games. Her previous triumph was capturing silver along with her three other team members in the unified team bocce category. The gold rush continued when swimmer Abbygaile Mayers won the 25 metre backstroke in her division and Tiffany Branch captured first in her division in the 100 metre run.
A silver medal winner for Barbados is Nikita Maycock. The sprinter took second place in her division in the 100 metre run. She will add that medal to the gold she won in the previous World Games in Athens, Greece in 2011.
Earlier that same day, Patrick Hinds won the bronze medal in bocce singles. That was Patrick’s second medal of the Games, having already captured a silver medal with his three team mates in unified bocce team competition.
Pictured right-to-left, Rico Wiggins, Felicia McLennan, head bocce coach Lois Inniss, Patrick Hinds and Nadia McLennan.
Barbados Athletes Get Off To An Explosive Start At The Special Olympics World Games
The Barbados footballers can just about feel a medal in their hands after their opening day performance in the 2015 Los Angeles Special Olympics World Games. The seven-a-side team blanked competitors from Belgium 4-0. The Barbados Special Olympics footballers also and did away with Costa Rica with a 3-1 score. Impressive wins, such as those, are what moves a team into the final round of play in the biggest sports and humanitarian event in the world in 2015.
But the great performances by the Barbados athletes did not end there. These Special Olympics athletes have a fine history of winning in the bowling sport of bocce, and the Barbados unified team put the competition on notice once again with a stunning 11-4 victory over Italy. In Special Olympics, unified teams consist of players who do not have intellectual disabilities and players who do have intellectual challenges. The win by athletes Felicia McLennan and Patrick Hinds, along with unified partners Nadia McLennan and Rico Wiggins, is particularly significant because Italy is generally known as the birthplace of bocce, and it has been a favorite sport in that country for centuries.
“I felt like a rock star” said Barbados track and field athlete Tyson Browne after experiencing an event-packed two days provided by Special Olympics World Games host town El Segundo, California. During the World Games, which are being held in Los Angeles, California July 25 through August 2, nearby towns act as hosts to the Special Olympics teams from 177 countries. El Segundo, designated as the host town for Barbados and Macedonia, spared no effort making athletes from the two countries feel like celebrities. Host town activities took place on the days leading up to the Special Olympics World Games Opening Ceremony on July 25.
From July 25th to August 2nd, Los Angeles, California will host the biggest sports and humanitarian event in the world in 2015, the Special Olympics World Summer Games. The World Games will draw 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, and proudly wearing national colors among them will be 26 Barbados athletes and their coaches.
The Barbados Special Olympics athletes will be competing in five sports disciplines: aquatics, athletics (track and field), bocce, golf and soccer (seven-a-side football). Alternate athletes have also been named and would travel to Los Angeles if, for some reason, selected athletes are unable to make the trip. In addition to the selected athletes, two “unified partners” will participate in the games on the Barbados bocce team. Under the Special Olympics “Unified Sports” programme, participants, who do not have disabilities, compete alongside Special Olympics athletes.
The Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme has remained one of the strongest supporters of Special Olympics by encouraging its members to participate in Special Olympics events as officials and unified athletes. Rico Wiggins of the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme will be on the Barbados unified bocce team in Los Angeles, along with unified team member and Special Olympics volunteer and parent, Nadia McLennan.
Special Olympics Barbados World Summer Games Athletes and Coaches
Aquatics: Head Coach, Adelle Price; Athletes: Jay-Tee Brathwaite, Kofi Cadogan, Dion Ellyatt, Abbygaile Mayers
Athletics (Track and
Field): Head Coach, Roger Dyall; Assistant Head Coach, Janita Austin; Athletes: Tiffany Branch, Tyson Browne, Sharnara Cain, Raymond Delphi, Akitunde’ Hall,
Korey Kellman, Nikita Maycock, Rosie Murray
Bocce: Head Coach, Lois Innis; Athletes: Patrick Hinds, Felicia McLennan; Unified Partners: Rico Wiggins, Nadia McLennan.
Golf: Head Coach, Jaleel
Marshall; Athletes: Leander Brathwaite, Desiree’ Hinds
football): Head Coach, Troy Thorpe; Assistant Head Coach, Colin Western;
Assistant Head Coach, Edwin Martindale; Athletes: Karlitos Adamson, Marquis Alleyne, Tre’ Best,
Ajani Blackman, Razzaq Goddard, Shaquon Harding, Nicholas Jordan, Shaquille
Lewis, Adam Thompson, Richad Williams-Barrow
Canadian Special Olympics Golfers Play the Beautiful Golf Courses of Barbados
In its continuing support of sports tourism, Special Olympics Barbados welcomed the arrival of the second Canadian delegation to visit our nation in the month of October. After successfully hosting a 19-member group from Special Olympics Brampton, Ontario, the local organisation hosted golfers from Special Olympics Mississauga, Ontario. Keith Boyce, Special Olympics golf coach and certified member of the Canadian Golf Teachers Federation, United States Golf Teachers Federation and World Golf Teachers Federation, returned to Barbados with two of his accomplished, medal-winning Special Olympics golfers, Aaron Lindsay and Arthur Rea, Jr.
Golf buddies: left to right, Special Olympics Barbados golfer Leander Brathwaite, Special Olympics Mississauga golfer Arthur Rea, Jr. and Special Olympics Barbados golfer Akintunde' Hall.
Mr. Boyce, a Barbadian who now lives in Canada, is the impetus behind the current Special Olympics Barbados golf programme. In 2012, assisted by Aaron and Arthur, he conducted a golf clinic, which started the local Special Olympics golf programme. He is also responsible for supplying most of the golf equipment which is used by Special Olympics Barbados. The Canadian visitors enjoyed a golf-filled visit, compliments of local golf clubs, which have been extremely supportive of the Special Olympics Barbados golf programme. Mr. Boyce, Aaron and Arthur awoke to hit the links many mornings during their stay at the Rockley Golf Club. In addition, they played rounds of golf at the Apes Hill Golf Club and the Royal Westmoreland Golf Club, compliments of those two facilities. The three visitors were also seen frequently at the Barbados Golf Club when they joined Special Olympics Barbados athletes for their twice-a-week practices.
Special Olympics Visitors from Brampton, Ontario Enjoy a Great Week in Barbados
It is through the inclusion of our athletes into the larger society that barriers are removed and understanding is gained. Public figures play a major role in this process because their commitment creates an example to be followed by others. Compliments of Digicel, our athletes were treated to a fun afternoon of practice with the West Indies Cricket Team at Kensington Oval. They experienced genuine acceptance and carried away warm memories that will last a lifetime. See cricket practice on our Photo Gallery page.