The 2017 edition of the Special Olympics national games, in the federation of St.Kitts and Nevis, got on the way on Wednesday 22nd March, at the Kim Collins stadium.
The opening ceremony which was chaired by Director of Sports, Mr. Anthony Wiltshire, featured several key note speakers and a couple of significant presentations.
Prior to the opening ceremony, the Special Olympic flames was brought into the stadium by the armed forces who made their grand entrance, by running into the stadium.
The invocation was rendered by Sylvester Dore and this was followed by the singing of the national anthem of St.Kitts and Nevis, by some of the athletes.
Mr. Wiltshire welcomed all present and noted that the athletes are no different from other athletes.
He stated that they are all winners and few will be champions.
Ms. Clarice Cotton, chairperson of the Special Olympics board, gave the official welcome and noted that apart from the track events, the athletes will participate in Bocce; Swimming and Tennis and noted that they are making history this year, as five of them will participate In the annual cross channel swim between St.Kitts and Nevis, on Sunday 26th March.
One minute of silence, was observed in honour of the late Stedroy Techeira, a former volunteer with the Special Olympics committee. A profile was read on his behalf by Ms. Nadine Natta who also presented a medal of honour to a family member.
Mr. Peter Jenkins was also given recognition for his sterling contributions in leadership.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr. William Vincent Hodge, spoke on behalf of Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Shawn Richards. He commended the organizers for continuously hosting the national games since 1983.
He told the athletes that within them is the potential, like any other human being.
His address was followed by the reading of the athlete’s oath by one of the athletes and the official’s oath by one of the officials.
The athletes then competed in various events which included: 50 meters Flat races; long jump; 800 meters; 400 meters; throwing the soft ball; iron ball throw; 100 meters and 200 meters.
Teams represented were: St.Kitts; Nevis and a visiting team for out of Connecticut in the USA.
The schedule of activities for the athletes that remain are:
Friday, March 24th:
Bocce Event 10a-12pm- Cecile Browne Integrated School, Nevis
Tennis Event 10a-12pm- Four Seasons Resort, Nevis
Awards Ceremony 1pm- Four Seasons Resort, Nevis
Saturday, March 25th:
Swim Competition 9am-2pm- St. Kitts
Sunday, March 26th:
15th Annual Bente Weber Nevis to St. Kitts Cross Channel Swim- 7am