A 29-member delegation was named for the Special Olympics World Games in Germany from June 17-25.
Some 17 athletes will represent T&T in four sporting disciplines–athletics, Equestrian, powerlifting, swimming–at the 16th edition of the Games. Over the nine days, athletes with intellectual disabilities compete together in 26 sports.
Hundreds of athletes and supporters gathered at St Mary’s College grounds for the closing ceremony of the Special Olympics T&T (SOTT) National Games on May 27 and amongst the many highlights of the day was the announcement of the T&T delegation that will be attending the Games in host city, Berlin.
Loud cheers, applause, and tears of joy followed the Flame of Hope along the final leg of the Olympic Torch Relay that commenced at the closing ceremony. For many, this marked an important moment of restoration after the pandemic’s two-year pause on the Games. The Flame was first lit two weeks ago during the National Games opening ceremony and was then carried around the country to the Games by the T&T Law Enforcement Torch Runners (LETR), led by Police Sergeant Seemungal and Fire Officer Leon Hazzard.
At the closing ceremony, the Flame was passed to Desha Clifford, Chair of the Digicel T&T Foundation, corporate sponsor of SOTT, and then on to athlete Melissa Nanan, who, alongside Clifford, Fire Officer Hazzard and the T&T Law Enforcement Torch Runners (LETR), made a lap around the grounds before lighting the cauldron.
For over a decade, the Digicel Foundation has been the corporate sponsor and partner of the SOTT, championing the causes of those with special needs in T&T. This year, Digicel and the Digicel Foundation have invested a total of TT$330,000 towards the SOTT National Games, the SOTT delegation’s travel to the World Games in Berlin, and the year-round operations of the SOTT Secretariat at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella.
The final day of the SOTT National Games included football at the St Mary’s Grounds and aquatics at the Diego Martin swimming pool. The closing ceremony ended the day’s activities on a jubilant note with a gala concert, featuring performances from local Gospel artistes Samantha Johnson and evangelist Melissa Precious Brown; saxophonist Curtis Brisbane; singer Melly Rose; the reigning Calypso Monarch, Ta’Zyah O’Connor, and the showstopper, Nishard M.
Athletics: Nathan Mc Clean, Cadell Cuffy, D’Andre Mc Guirk, Tershana Tempro, La Toya Charles, Melissa Nanan.
Staff: Lyndell Hoyte-Sanchez (coach), Stephen Ralph (coach)
Equestrian: Aaron Ben Ali, Nathaniel Lewis, Omari Patterson, Elijah Obed, Patrice Pennie.
Staff: Waheed Mullar (coach), Lisa Wharwood (coach).
Powerlifting: Malachi Sylvester, Kadafie Anthony.
Staff: Richard Johnson (coach), Sherry Ann Lee (coach)
Swimming: Trent Bethel, Donovan Garib, Shania Surujbally, Victoria Samuel.
Staff: Stephen Telfer (coach), William Carr (coach)
Officials: Major David Benjamin (Head of Delegation), Clayton William (Assistant Head of Delegation), Dr Maia Blackman (Medical Staff), Candace Young (assistant staff - media)