Wesley Worrell is dead
THE FACE OF PARALYMPISM in Barbados has passed away.
Wesley Worrell, president of the Paralympic Association of Barbados, died at the Bayview Hospital around 1:30 a.m. today.
Although members of his family were distraught, niece Felicia Went said he developed a problem with one of his legs and went to have it amputated.
He leaves behind his wife Maureen, who worked closely with him as secretary of the Association, four children and eight siblings.
Worrell was shot in April 1994 during an attempted robbery and became wheelchair-bound, but that never held him back.
“It was a really rough time. One week I’m working in the [sugar] factory and the next week I’m in bed and I can’t walk. It was hard on me mentally, but I had to put up a strong fight to make it through,” he said of that time.
He turned to long-distance racing and was a familiar sight on Barbadian roads when he was preparing for major competition, usually accompanied by Seldon Millington on the bicycle.
“I enjoy going for long distances. I used to speed race, but I prefer the challenge of forcing your chair 26 miles. There’s a pleasure in pushing your body to the limit,” Worrell told one reporter after winning his category of the 2005 T&T Marathon.
Among his wins are a three-peat in the wheelchair category of the Run Barbados half-marathon from 2001 to 2003. He took a break and won on his return in 2007.
Worrell represented Barbados in Trinidad and Tobago, England, Germany, Japan, Korea, Switzerland, Ecuador and Portugal. One of the main highlights of his career was placing second in the masters category of the London Marathon in 2009.
He was also presented the Key to the City of Loja in Ecuador, for outstanding participation in their marathon.
In 2006, the Men’s Educational Support Association presented him with an award for outstanding contribution to the Paralympic Games.
Worrell was president of the local Paralympic Association from 2009 and one of his main goals was to see more Barbadians compete at the Paralympic Games. He was one of the driving forces behind swimmer David Taylor’s participation in the 2012 London Paralympic Games. (SAT)