Special athlete eyes gold
AKITUNDE’ “AKIM” HALL is dreaming of winning gold at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, California, this summer.
“I want to bring home a gold medal, but I don’t mind if I get a silver or bronze medal,” said an upbeat Hall, who has been selected for the Special Olympics Barbados athletics (track and field) team, which is hoping to make its mark at the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world in 2015.
The World Games, which take place July 25 to August 2, will draw 7 000 athletes and 3 000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30 000 volunteers and an anticipated 500 000 spectators.
The Games will provide an opportunity for intellectually challenged children and adults to show the world their joy of accomplishment.
Hall has indicated he wants to do his very best on the track in the sprints and middle distance races, but he also sees competing in the Special Olympics World Games as an opportunity to meet and interact with people from all over the world and to learn about their different cultures.
The St Peter resident, who is also a Special Olympics golf, cricket and football athlete, says participating in so many sports gives him good exercise and keeps him fit.
He is one of 11 athletes selected for the Special Olympics Barbados athletics (track and field) team.
Head coach Roger Dyall and assistant head coach Janita Austin have been working for months preparing the runners for the international competition.
Also on the athletics team are Kenny Alleyne, Raymond Delphi, Korey Kellman, Tiffany Branch, Anyia Joseph, Nikita Maycock, Rosie Murray and alternates Tashona Gale-Brathwaite, Tiana Harewood and Shaniese Straughn.
Special Olympics Barbados hopes to send a full team of 26 athletes to the 2015 Special Olympics World Games to compete in five sports disciplines: aquatics, athletics, bocce, golf and soccer (seven-a-side football).
The Special Olympics organisation, which has its own ongoing fund-raising effort, is counting on individual Barbadians and the Barbadian corporate community to help make the dream of international competition come true for the 26 athletes. (PR)