Special Olympics honor athletes

Special Olympics Cayman Islands put on a number of competitions to highlight local talent.

At the annual SOCI National Games this month, Caymanian athletes were put through several events. After the opening church service, held at the Countryside Church of God in East End, Governor Helen Kilpatrick, was in attendance to launch the games with a Unified Bocce mini-tournament.

The Aquatics competition took over the Lion’s Pool for their swim meet with many volunteers from Stingray Swim Club. A bowling fun event sponsored by AON at the King’s Sports Center and track and field competition held at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex were also part of the mix. In addition, SOCI athletes and volunteers took part in the Camana Bay Tower run and athlete Andrew Smilley was part of the recent Queen’s Baton Relay. A football competition, postponed due to inclement weather, is scheduled to take place before the end of April.

The Games included more than 45 athletes who have been training throughout the year in various sports.

Many new volunteers, coaches and sponsors joined this year.

This year saw an increase in the number of younger athletes registered and an additional training session added to the roster. The result is eight training sessions per week in the five sports of aquatics, athletics, basketball, bocce and football and the athletes will continue training until the summer break in mid-June.

The 2015 Special Olympics Summer World Games will be held next year in Los Angeles, California, and SOCI plans to send teams in all of the disciplines.

Organizers say the sporting experience that Special Olympics brings to local athletes not only promotes physical activity, but it also builds individual confidence, promotes teamwork and leadership qualities, increases the social experience, and builds awareness to the public through community activities.

SOCI is almost completely a volunteer organization that relies heavily on dedicated individuals who give their time and talents to the movement. To support SOCI with donations or becoming a coach or volunteer, email [email protected]

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