On Thursday 24th January, officials and athletes of the Special Olympics fraternity of St. Kitts and Nevis, assembled at the studios of ZIZ television, eagerly anticipating a grand announcement.
The athletes for the most part, have been in training for more than a year, in preparation for the 2019 world games, which will be held in Abu Dhabi from March 14th to 21st.
Mr. Ivor Blake, National Director for Special Olympics St. Kitts and Nevis, indicated that the athletes will be participating in six different sporting disciplines: Athletics; Bocce, Cycling , Swimming, Tennis and Triathlon.
He pointed out that their participation in such a prestigious event, gives them the opportunity to compete; to travel; to meet their counterparts around the world and to have a sense of belonging.
He noted that preparations for the trip over the past six months, have been very intense, but believes that with only 44 days away (at that time), that they were very much up to the task at hand.
Ms. Clarice Cotton, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Special Olympics SKN, stated that SKN athletes have been participating in the world games, since 1983.
She thanked the St. Kitts -Nevis government for its assistance with the airfare and thanked the many businesses who have made significant donations.
She used the opportunity to beseech members of the general public, to assist the athletes wherever possible and indicated that they can assist by contributing to the sponsor cards being circulated or by buying tags.
Mrs. Judy Paris –Rawlins, chairperson of the Nevis Special Olympics committee and assistant head of delegation for the world games Abu Dhabi, stated that it was a very significant journey for the Nevis athletes. She pointed to the fact that they have practised really hard-sometimes two or three days per week and that such privileges help to boost their morale and make them more aware.
She was firm in her view that they were not just special athletes but even more significantly, ATHLETES.
She asked the members of the general public to support the athletes and to be there for them at all times.
She took time out to thank the Nevis Island Administration, through its Ministry of Sports; the Four Seasons Resort and numerous other business entities and individuals on Nevis, who have assisted the team in making the trip possible.
She identified the Nevis representatives on the team as follows:
The names of the St. Kitts’ athletes were unavailable up to press time.