Special Olympics swimmers ready
The Barbados aquatics team headed to the 2015 Los Angeles Special Olympics World Games is a young exciting one raging between ages 11 and 17.
However, age is not a concern at the competition which will run from July 25 to August 2. In Special Olympics, intellectually disabled athletes in every sport and event are grouped by age, gender, and ability, giving everyone a reasonable chance to win.
At Special Olympics events, there are no world records because each athlete, whether in the fastest or the slowest division, is valued and recognized equally. In every division, all athletes receive an award, from gold, silver, and bronze medals, to fourth through eighth-place ribbons.
Although the four Special Olympics Barbados swimmers are almost certain to at least return home with ribbons, they want medals, and they have been training very hard under the direction of head coach Adele Price to reach that goal.
Eleven-year-old Abbygaile Mayers will compete in the 25 metres backstroke, 25 metres freestyle and the 4 x 25 metres relay. Kofi Cadogan, 14, will swim in the 25 metres backstroke, 25 metres freestyle and the 4 x 25 metres relay. Jay-Tee Brathwaite, 16, will compete in the 50 metres backstroke, 50 metres freestyle and the 4 x 25 metres relay.
The senior member of the Special Olympics Barbados team is 17-year-old Dion Ellyatt, who will compete in the 50 metres backstroke and 100 metres freestyle and will join her team members for the 4 x 25 metres relay.
Special Olympics Barbados is sending a team of 26 athletes to the Los Angeles Special Olympics World Games, which will be the biggest sports and humanitarian event in the world in 2015.
In addition to aquatics, Barbados’ athletes will compete in athletics (track and field) bocce, golf and soccer (seven-a-side football). The World Games will attract 7,000 athletes from 177 countries.
Corporate supporters and individuals, who wish to help in the effort to send the Barbados team to the Special Olympics World Games, can do so by donating to the Digicel Road to the World Games Fund at CIBC First Caribbean Bank, account number 1001111009.