THE Special Olympics TT delegation of 31 athletes, 11 coaches and two officials has arrived and settled down in Sharjar, ahead of the Special Olympics 2019 World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The delegation left on Carnival Tuesday and will compete in athletics, bocce, equestrian, powerlifting and swimming. For the first time, SOTT will be competing in a unified sports competition – bocce.
Unified sports combines athletes with intellectual disabilities with partners without disabilities on the same team.
The host town programme, from March 8-11, will allow athletes to train and acclimatise to the UAE while enjoying Emirati hospitality, customs and traditions.
According to David Benjamin, the head of SOTT delegation, TT's contingent will head to the Athletes’ Villages
in Dubai and Abu Dhabi on March 12, before participating in the opening ceremony on March 14 at the Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
The Games will feature 7,000 athletes, 3,000 coaches from 190 countries competing in 24 sporting disciplines, with an expected 500,000 spectators as part of the biggest sports and humanitarian event in the world in 2019.
TT will also have representation from Innocents Hamilton, as an official in the sport of bocce, and firefighter Leon Hazard, who will carry the “Flame of Hope” as part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run.
National Director Ferdinand Bibby said attendance at the Games would not have been possible without the support of the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, Digicel Foundation, National Lotteries Control Board and all the others who would have directly contributed or supported the SOTT’s fundraising efforts.