New India Assurance pledges continued support for Special Olympics Athletes
- Company encouraged by team’s stellar performance at 2022 Games
The exceptional medal-winning performance of Guyana’s team at the Special Olympics USA Games 2022 has encouraged New India Assurance (NIA) to continue to support the team as preparations begin for the Special Olympics World Games 2023 in Germany.
Athletes Calvin Thomas, Annson Forde and their coach Mark Scott comprised the Special Olympics Guyana’s team that participated in the Special Olympics USA Games 2022 Orlando from June 05-12.
NIA’s sponsorship was used to pay some of the expenses related to participation for Calvin and the coach. NIA provided decisive last-minute sponsorship that finalised their participation.
Calvin is an experienced athlete who secured Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at the LA and Dubai Special Olympics, while Annson made his debut internationally at this year’s Special Olympics.
Annson crossed the finish line in 26.05 seconds to win the 200m and secure a gold medal for Guyana. Calvin, 32, won the Silver medal when he finished the Men’s 5000m in 20 minutes, 20 seconds.
NIA Branch Manager Selma Rahman said, “We are proud to have sponsored the team. We have seen them train and understand all the effort they put in and all the hurdles they have had to cross in order to achieve success.”
Silver medallist Calvin thanked NIA for their support. Calvin, a seasoned campaigner in unified games, takes his success in stride, but described his experience as a great one.
Recalling the Games, Calvin said he was initially nervous, but his familiarity with competing at an international level kicked in and he was able to take control of his performance.
Annson said he was proud of his performance, but could have done better. The teenager said that he had an injury prior to his departure as a result of his intense training and could not perform at his maximum capacity.
Annson said he was impressed at the level of support that he witnessed being given to international athletes who participated in the USA Special Olympics.
National Director of Special Olympics Guyana, Wilton Spencer, noted that an initial team of five persons was identified to travel for the Games. However, the association was only able to raise funds to finance the travel expenses for three persons.
“The support from New India Assurance was timely and meant a lot to us because it assisted tremendously in getting to the Games,” he said.
Coach Scott said he is pleased with the performances of the two athletes.
“For me, it was an opportunity to help these athletes perform at their optimum,” Scott said.
He added, “Our plans for these athletes—they have the World Games coming up in Germany and they will need all the support [they can get]—when we look at ticketing alone for the athletes, it is about US$3,000 to US$4,000 to go to Germany.”
NIA has always been keen to extend support to children and athletes. The company has supported the Ptolemy Reid Foundation, Bal Nivas children’s shelter, annual Christmas food and toy drives as well as the sports of boxing, cricket, tennis and track athletes.
Meanwhile, Rahman identified the need for more unified sporting activities for differently-abled persons.
“There is great need for more support of sporting events for persons with special needs. We would also love to see Annson and Calvin recognised and rewarded at a national level for their accomplishments,” Rahman said.