Editorial for 13 September: Andrew, Kanza make us proud

Our collective chests should be swelled with pride for
Andrew Smilley.

That awesome young man has won gold for the Cayman Islands
in the 800 metres freestyle at the first Special Olympics World Aquatics
Invitational in San Juan Puerto Rico.

Today Kanza Bodden gets in the water for the finals. Her
events are the 100m free and 100m backstroke. We wish her God speed and hope
she too medals.

We are so proud of Andrew and Kanza for making it to the
Olympics competition in Puerto Rico. They are both extremely talented athletes
and deserve our pride and support.

One of the great things about Special Olympics is that it
raises awareness about the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities.
Sports allows the athletes to showcase their skills and dignity and it gives
us, as a community, the chance to take part and see how sports can transform an
individual.

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We have many people in the Cayman Islands who have
disabilities and for the most part our community does a pretty good job of
seeing to their care and well being.

But throughout the world people with intellectual
disabilities are among the most vulnerable.

They are often ignored, neglected and excluded from schools
and society. Special Olympics gives many of them chance to become part of their
community and develop belief in themselves.

Special Olympics has been reaching out since 1968 and has
had a strong foothold in the Cayman Islands for many years.

As  all over the
world, Special Olympics relies on cash donations, in-kind donations from
suppliers of sports equipment, major cash sponsorships from charitable
organisations and local support volunteers to keep their programmes going.

If you have an opportunity to volunteer to help out with
Special Olympics in the Cayman Islands, raise your hand and join them.
Donations are always welcome and fun and interesting fundraisers are held
throughout the year. Congratulations to Andrew and Kanza. You’re making us
proud.

 

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