Barbados Special Olympics footballers have a proud reputation to uphold, having captured the silver medal in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, California. Some of those same athletes will be in action this Monday, February 3 in the Special Olympics National Games Football Tournament as they join team members from their own schools or special units. The football competition, which takes place at 9:00 am at the National Sports Council Blenheim Grounds in St. Michael, will open the Special Olympics Barbados 2017 National Games schedule.
In the Junior Division, the Ellerton Special Unit will be hoping to repeat as champions, but they face formidable challenges from the All Saints Special Unit, the Charles F. Broome Special Unit, the Eagle Hall Special Unit, the Ellerton Special Unit, the Erdiston Special School and St. Matthews. For many of these young athletes, this will be their first opportunity to show family, friends and the nation their accomplishments in sports.
In the Senior Division, the Alma Parris School will defend its title against strong competition from the Ann Hill School, the Challenor Creative Arts and Training Centre, the Derrick Smith School and Vocational Centre, the Learning Centre and the Special Olympics Outreach Programme. It is in the Senior Division, where many of the athletes who played in the Special Olympics World Games will demonstrate the skills that led them to victory in international competition.
The Special Olympics National Games schedule continues on March 3 with the Track and Field Preliminary Meet at the Carlton Sports Club, Black Rock. Athletes who qualify at the preliminary meet will move on the biggest annual event on the organisation’s calendar, the Special Olympics National Games Track and Field Finals which take place March 24 at the Carlton Sports Club. The track and field events are held each year in conjunction with March the Month of the Disabled.
Athletes will take part in Special Olympics Barbados National Games championships throughout the year with competition in bocce, the bowling game of Roman and African origin, planned for April 9. The attention turns to cricket on May 19 with the Special Olympics National Games Cricket Championship at the National Sports Council Blenheim Grounds. On June 9, intellectually disabled athletes will make a big splash at the Aquatic Centre in the Special Olympics National Games Aquatics Meet.
All Special Olympics events are free of charge, and Barbados is invited to come and cheer intellectually disabled children and adults as they expand their capabilities in the setting of exciting, joyful and memorable competition.