Brathwaite featured in Special Olympics opening ceremony

Local Special Olympics athlete Leander Brathwaite received special mention at the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics World Games last night by sports network ESPN.

During the ceremony, which featured United States First Lady Michelle Obama and entertainer Stevie Wonder, the cameras zoomed in on the St Michael resident as the announcer highlighted Brathwaite’s talent as an athlete who competed successfully in track and field, football and cricket, and later transferred his skills to golf.

Leander Brathwaite (far left) with members of the Special Olympics Barbados delegation

Brathwaite and Desiree’ Hinds are competing in golf at the 2015 Los Angeles Special Olympics World Games.

According to a statement from Special Olympics Barbados, they have been training for nearly two years in the Special Olympics golf programme, which is hosted by the Barbados Golf Club.

Special Olympics Barbados head golf coach and Barbados Golf Club instructor, Jaleel Marshall, says Brathwaite is a natural athlete.

Golf is one of five sports disciplines that Special Olympics Barbados has entered at this year’s games, which run from July 25 to August 2.

Divisioning rounds for local athletes have already begun in track and field and bocce, with soccer and aquatics soon to follow.

According to the statement, in Special Olympics divisioning, “intellectually disabled athletes in every sport and event are grouped by age, gender and ability, giving everyone a reasonable chance to win”.

In every division, all athletes will receive an award, from gold, silver and bronze medals, to fourth through eighth-place ribbons.

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