Sun | Oct 2, 2022

Special Olympics Ja, Oswal Trust partner to lift athletes

Published:Tuesday | November 30, 2021 | 12:07 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Lorna Bell
Lorna Bell

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of Special Olympics Jamaica Lorna Bell says that the Special Olympics Caribbean’s recent partnership with Aruna Oswal Trust Lions Club International Foundation will continue to help develop their programmes and provide support to athletes with intellectual disability, so they can compete at upcoming Games and continue to strive.

Oswal, a past director of Lions Club International and trustee of the Lions Club International Foundation, launched her non-profit organisation in the Caribbean virtually last Wednesday, and through the partnership, substantial funding will be provided to the regional body to motivate athletes with intellectual disabilities.

Bell said President and Managing Director of Special Olympics Europe-Eurasia, David Evangelista, has visited and seen their programmes first-hand and understands their needs.

Beach Games

She said the partnership was most timely, as it will help to build on what has been started.

“We have been offering virtual training to our athletes over the last two years and we are looking forward, with this support, to give our Caribbean athletes, especially the low-functioning athletes, a chance to compete at the 2022 Special Olympics Caribbean Initiative Open Water Swim Beach Games for November in Curacao, which will be athlete-driven,” she said.

She pointed out that regional athletes have been getting ready for the United States-designated Games in Orlando, Florida, in 2022, which Caribbean athletes will attend for the first time.

There is also the Unified Cup, slated for Detroit next year, which will also see the time participation by a Caribbean female football team.

Bell said that accomplishments in sports continue to be vital to the development of the Caribbean Special Olympics athletes, and that the support from the Aruna Oswal Foundation will continue help their athletes to strive.

“The Lions Club must be congratulated for making this possible for our movement. We believe in our athletes, and the Caribbean Council for Athletes will be formed in January 2022,” she continued.

“Ms Oswal can rest assured that this support will bring out the heroes in our Caribbean athletes. They will continue to inspire from their perseverance, courage and determination,” she added.

CEO of Special Olympics Mary Davis said the type of support being provided can be life-changing.

“I say this on the behalf of everyone in the movement. Your support means so much, but more importantly, it has been life-changing and many-times life-saving services for our athletes with intellectual disabilities.

“Your support has been a catalyst for a lot of our programmes around the world, and now your tremendous support for our programmes in the Caribbean. We couldn’t be more appreciative,” said Davis.

“With your support and solidarity, we will be able to bring out key services of health, education and leadership to the region,” she continued. “So I want to salute you for your vision in building a more inclusive world for everybody.”