Digicel offers financial backing to Guyana’s Special Olympics team

- But approximately $2M still needed

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By Akeem Greene 

Telecommunications company Digicel has once again pledged support towards Guyana’s Special Olympics Team, which heads to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The 15th edition of the Special Olympics will be held in the Middle East nation from March 14-21, and though Guyana’s contingent has not secured in entirety the necessary funds to travel, the support of Digicel has brought them closer to ensuring the full contingent makes the trip.

“Digicel is pleased to be associated with the Special Olympics Association. Throughout our various territories we have a strong relationship with the association and that is something we want to maintain,” Louanna Abrams, Sponsorship Manager at Digicel, said at a simple ceremony held at the National Racquet Centre, Woolford Avenue, on Friday.

She further stated: “We have no doubt they will perform well and we take this opportunity to wish them well in the preparation for the Games.”

The sum donated by Digicel, though undisclosed, was described as quite significant.

Wilton Spencer, head of Guyana’s contingent, indicated that despite the support from the entity and others, they are still short close to two million dollars. To be exact, they require another $1,924, 372.

Spencer further encouraged others to offer support to the team. He can be contacted on 623-4673.

Coach of the team, Mark Scott, told the media the team is fully prepared for the task at hand since they have been in constant training for nine months.

Calvin Thomas, one of the four athletes, returns to defend his territory.  At the previous World Games held in Los Angeles, United States, in 2015, he clinched gold in the 5000m Division 6 Event and won a silver medal in the 3000m, Division 5 event.

The other members of the team are Faith King, Adool Brathwaite and Dacia George. The trio will compete in the 200m, 400m and 4x400m relay.

174 countries will compete in 24 disciplines in which 7,500 competitors are in athletics. Special Olympics is a global organisation that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year.

Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organisation has been growing.

Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.

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