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Special Olympians in the spotlight

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Special Olympians in the spotlight

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SPECIAL OLYMPICS ATHLETES will be sprinting for the finish line tomorrow, and they want to hear the nation cheering them on.
More than 600 intellectually challenged children and adults are registered to take part in the Special Olympics Barbados Annual National Games, and the events begin this week with the track and field preliminary meet.
The meet, to be held at the Police Sports Club in Weymouth, will feature athletes from 13 special units and independent participants all hoping to advance to the finals on March 26 at the National Stadium.
Through sports, intellectually challenged athletes have an opportunity to see themselves for their abilities, not disabilities. Their world is opened with acceptance and understanding, and they become confident and empowered by their accomplishments.
An added benefit of their participation in Special Olympics programmes is the support the athletes receive from those who come out to cheer their efforts. The roar of an excited crowd of spectators is a ringing confirmation of their accomplishments.
The meet starts at 8:30 a.m. and runs throughout the day. Event parking will be provided at the “Weymouth B Field” at the Police Sports Club.
The Special Olympics Barbados National Games are held each year in conjunction with “March – The Month of the Disabled”, and the action will continue with even more events.  Not only will the public have an opportunity to lend vocal support to the athletes who will take part in the Bocce Championship on March 16, but spectators will also be invited to join in the game at the Hockey Astroturf in Wildey.
Bocce is a bowling competition of Roman origin, and participants without disabilities will compete alongside Special Olympics athletes in what is termed Unified Sports.
Still to come later in the year are the Cricket Championships on May 16 and the Football Championship in October. (PR)