THE 36th Annual Special Olympics of Trinidad and Tobago (SOTT) National Games was held yesterday at various venues throughout the Port of Spain district. This year’s edition saw approximately 600 athletes from 18 special needs organisations across TT.
The Digicel Foundation-sponsored Games featured disciplines such as volleyball, football, body building, equestrian, aquatics, boccee, basketball and athletics.
Happy Venture thrilled the crowd at the Jean Pierre Complex when they won the 3x3 Basketball tournament by defeating Goodwill and Lady Hochoy Vocational Centre who had to settle for second placed while MEMISA grabbed the bronze medal.
In the Basketball Skills Test, there were six groups in the lower division which tested three components (target passing, spot shot and 10-metre dribble). The adjudged winners were Chelsea Huang (Life Centre), Anna Ram (Lady Hochoy), Alliyah Quashie (Happy Haven), Malik Jerome (Immortelle), Michael Shorty (National Centre for Persons with Disabilities NCPD), Wayne Romany (Lady Hochoy Vocational Centre), Moses Thomas (St Dominic) and Kishore Ramoutar (NCPD).
The higher division also evaluated three components (perimeter shooting, rebounding and speed dribble). There were three groups in this category and the outstanding players were Joshua Maynard (Happy Venture), Tamika Campbell and Shervon Richardson (NCPD).
At the same venue was the highly competitive Volleyball Skills Test which consisted of spiking, passing, serving and juggling.
NCPD dominated the various categories by winning four out of seven groups. Winners of the various groups were Sathrohan Shannon, Mary Haldeo (LH Gasparillo), Ruth Alexander, Aruna Ramnath, Kimberly Bowen, Lisa Fernando (NCPD) and Ray-Ann Hughes (Happy Haven).
NCPD outclassed their opponents in the football tournament when they defeated Happy Haven (6-0) and Lady Hochoy Penal (4-0). Haven representing Tobago drew with (LH Penal) 1-1. Playing at the Hasely Crawford Training Field, a team consisted of five players with 10 minutes per half using hockey-sized posts.
In the individual Skills Test, the top performers were Hakim Cunningham, Jeromey Mitchell (St. Dominics), Dion Hart (Goodwill), Joshua Villafana (Lady Hochoy), Amril Paboo (Lady Hochoy South), Joshua Raphael ( Focus Football Academy).
Athletics had the largest amount of participants of the Games drew a large crowd of supporters at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Donald Doyle (NCPD) blazed away the field in the male 200 metres in 24.68 seconds. In the 100 metres, Justin Providence (Goodwill) had the quickest time of all the athletes (12.14) followed by Nathan McClean (MEMISA) with 12.64 and Jerome Williams (NCPD) 13.05. Latoya Charles (LH Vocational Centre) was the fastest female in that event with a blistering 14.36.
Nicholai Ward (LH Cocorite) recorded the fastest time in the 50 metres when he stopped the clock at 6.76. Tyrell Audin (Palmeras School) with 7.65 and Keshton Wickham (NCPD) 7.85 were outstanding in their respective races. The 25 metres dash was the shortest distance of the meet but was full of excitement as Josiah Francis (Palmeras) produced the best time of 4.63, ahead of Stevon Baptiste (LH Gasparillo) with 4.75 and Josiah Strong (LH Arima) with 5.63.
The local athletes competed for a spot among the delegation to attend the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in 2019.