Gearing up for Games
special olympics athletes aiming to raise $300,000
A 5K road race is among the last minute fund raising activities which Special Olympics Barbados will stage as they seek to send 26 athletes to the 2015 World Games scheduled to take place in Los Angeles from July 21 to August 3.
Public relations officer, Edward Thompson, told Barbados TODAY during a press conference at JoJo’s Arcade that with the help of the Digicel Road to the World Games Fund along with JoJo’s partnership, they aimed to raise BDS$300,000 and so far the target seemed reachable.
“Things are looking good at this point and we are on target in terms of our budget but we can always do with a bit more,” Thompson said.
In addition to the road race scheduled for Sunday July 5 at the Bay Street Esplanade from 4.30 p.m. Special Olympics Barbados will also have a games evening on July 11 starting at 2 p.m. at JoJo’s who have graciously allowed organizers to use the facility which would cater to persons 18 years and older. Games will include road tennis, bingo, darts, draughts and chess.
Persons who wish to participate in the 5K can do so by registering at specialolympicsbarbados.org or Facebook. One can also go directly to the Special Olympics Barbados office.
ESPN will carry the games live and about 7,000 athletes are slated to participate. Barbados will be looking to up their medal count from seven at the 2011 Athens Games based on the number of athletes they will be carrying.
“All of the athletes are hoping to win medals and all the athletes are saying we want to win a gold medal. We think our chances are good, they did an excellent good in Athens where we took seven athletes at that time and all medalled. They have been training hard for this and they will be going all out,” said Thompson.
The contingent will be participating in golf, athletics, bocce, soccer and aquatics.
Two of the athletes Patrick Hinds and Rosie Murray told Barbados TODAY they were excited about the trip and they were looking forward to the competition.
Hinds in particular said this was his first time at the games and he intended to win a medal and at the same time give of his best.
“I have been practising very hard and this is my first time travelling to the games and I am very happy and excited and I am hoping to bring back a gold,” Hinds said.
Meanwhile Murray who has the most experience out of the two said she would be competing in the 400m and 800m and even though she has a slight ankle injury she still wanted to give of her best.
“I don’t think it is that serious and hopefully I recover fully by the time the games come around. I always do good so I hope that I do the same on this trip,” said Murray, who participated in Ireland and captured a gold and two silvers, as well as in China where she claimed a bronze medal.
Among the contingent will be head coach for athletics Roger Dyall, assistance coach Janita Austin and athletes Murray, Tiffany Branch, Tyson Browne, Raymond Delphi, Akitunde’ Hall, Korey Kellman, Nikita Maycock and Sharnara Cain.
Aquatics head coach is Adele Price and the athletes are Jay-Tee Brathwaite, Kofi Cadogan, Dion Ellyatt and Abbygaile Mayers.
Head coach Lois Inniss will spearhead bocce and the athletes are Hinds, Felicia McLeannan and the unified partners are McLeannan and Wiggins.
Golf is also on the list for the first time and head coach Jaleel Marshall will have Leander Brathwaite, Desiree Hinds while the alternates are Keisha Cruickshank and Ancil Powlett.
There is also a seven-aside football team led by head coach Troy Thorpe and his assistants Colin Western and Edwin Martindale. Athletes are Karlitos Adams, Marquis Alleyne, Tre Best, Ajani Blackman, Razzaq Goddard, Shaquon Harding, Nicholas Jordan, Shaquille Lewis, Adam Thompson and Richad Williams-Barrow.