Special Olympians Receive Heroes’ Welcome

Hon. Hensley Daniel and Special Olympians

ZIZ Sports…March 2, 2010 – The Nevisian contingent of the St.Kitts-Nevis Special Olympic team which participated in the recently held Latin American Special Olympic games in Puerto Rico, received a warm royal welcome at the Charlestown pier yesterday evening. As a matter of fact, the athletes and the officials received a pleasant surprise when they landed at the RLB Airport in St.Kitts, only to discover that some of the Nevisian parents had journeyed over to St.Kitts to be part of the first welcoming party to meet the forty-one member delegation.

A brief ceremony was held at the Bay front in front of an appreciative crowd. The proceedings were chaired by Mr. Randolph Boddie, Chairman of the local Special Olympics Committee. Mr. Boddie outlined the achievements of the athletes as follows:

  • Lawvander Forbes – Gold in the 100meters; gold in the 200 meters and 7th place in the 4×100 meters relay.
  • Valencia Wilkinson – Silver in the 50 meters; silver in the standing long jump and gold in the soft ball throw.
  • Latisha Davis – Gold in the 50 meters; fifth place in the standing long jump and fourth in the soft ball throw.
  • Akeemo Freeman – Silver in the shot put, sixth in the 100 meters; seventh in the 4×100 meters relay.
  • Katravia – Bocce singles – bronze; Bocce doubles-fourth and Bocce team sport-silver.
  • Mark Forbes – Bocce team sport – silver and Bocce doubles fourth.
  • Lelanie Rogers – Gold in the 25 meters free style and silver in the 25 meters breast stroke.
  • Robert Liddie – 50 meters back stroke-bronze; fourth in the 4×100 meters free style and eight in the 100 meters free style.
  • Tameka Wells – Gold in the 50 meters free style and gold in the 50 meters breast stroke.
  • Shakia Stapleton – Tennis singles-gold and gold in the doubles.
  • Leon Silcott – Gold in mini Tennis. Tennis Coach, Elton Marcus Hull who also journeyed to Puerto Rico to support the athletes, came in for high praise for his efforts.

The overall results saw 17 gold medals for the Federation team-9 for Nevis; 15 silver medals-7 to Nevis; 9 bronze medals-2 to Nevis-a grand total of 41 medals.

Several parents also took the opportunity to address the gathering and expressed deep gratitude to the Nevis Island Government, the Teachers, Coaches and all who would have made contributions towards the success of the children.

Minister responsible for Sports on Nevis, the Hon Hensley Daniel was high in praise for the athletes and lauded their sense of discipline and their attitude to compete instead of merely participating. He also alluded to a higher level of contributions from the Government to the athletes based on their consistent outstanding performances. He singled out the outstanding contributions of Mrs. Jennifer Liburd who later this year would have worked with the children for an astonishing 26 years.

Minister Daniel further indicated that there will be a motorcade in honour of the children, starting at 11 am from the school grounds heading through Charlestown this morning. This will culminate with celebratory party at the school.

Principal of the school Ms Violet Clarke and Teacher Jennifer Liburd also praised the children for their achievements and thanked all who had assisted them thus far. An appeal was also made for further contributions from the general public to clear outstanding amounts yet owing as a result of the recent trip.

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