To quote one of the visiting athletes, “Every day gets better and better!” As Special Olympics Barbados hosted a 19-member delegation from Special Olympics Brampton, Ontario, our nation extended a very warm welcome and made some new and lasting friends. The group, which consisted of 10 athletes, 5 coaches and 4 parents, spent an action-filled week getting to know Barbados and Barbadians.
Their seven days began last Wednesday with a media-covered arrival at Grantley Adams International Airport. The next day, they toured the Challenor Creative Arts and Training Centre, meeting many of the Special Olympics Barbados athletes they would face Friday in a friendly football competition.
On Saturday, the visitors shared in a joint celebration of a significant day on the organisation’s international calendar, EKS Day. EKS Day commemorates the founder of Special Olympics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of late U.S. President John F. Kennedy. In the true spirit of Special Olympics, the Barbados athletes taught the Brampton athletes how to play cricket, and the Brampton athletes taught the Barbados athletes how to play softball. The Brampton group brought with them all the equipment necessary to play softball and donated it to Special Olympics Barbados to help the local organisation start its own softball program. Softball is a baseball game, which uses a large baseball thrown underhanded.
Barbados again showed its wonderful hospitality on the following day, when the Brampton group, which had planned for a fun cruise on the Jolly Roger, discovered that no Sunday cruises were scheduled. Learning that the group requesting a Sunday cruise was the visiting Special Olympics delegation from Canada, the pirate ship opened its boarding planks, and the Brampton visitors were off on a cruise scheduled especially for them on the Jolly Roger.
Monday was a day for more football and meeting more Special Olympics athletes, when the Barbados Sports Council bus, which provided transportation for the entire visit, took the group from the Coral Mist Beach Hotel to the Police Sports Club in Weymouth. The Brampton team played and won a closely-contested, 3-2, friendly match with Special Olympics athletes from the Ann Hill School. In addition to the gift of softball equipment, Special Olympics Brampton also donated some much-needed football gear to Special Olympics Barbados.
On the last evening before their return to Canada, the visitors enjoyed a social evening as Special Olympics board member Dr. Winston Harvey, and his wife, Dr. Ena Harvey, opened their home. The Brampton guests, along with Special Olympics Barbados athletes and board members, were treated to sumptuous food, good company and great entertainment, as all joined in Caribbean song with Dr. Ena Harvey.
On this Friday, Special Olympics Barbados will welcome another delegation from Canada. Keith Boyce, Special Olympics golf coach from Special Olympics Mississauga, Ontario, returns to Barbados with two of his accomplished Special Olympics golfers. Mr. Boyce is the impetus behind the current Special Olympics Barbados golf programme.
Media notification of Upcoming Event
Welcome for Special Olympics Mississauga Delegation
Location: Grantley Adams International Airport
Date and time: Friday, October 17, 3:00 pm
*Photo tag: “Special Olympics Brampton, Ontario athletes, coaches and family members pose with some of their new friends, the Challenor Creative Arts and Training Centre Special Olympics athletes and their coach.”
NOTE TO NEWS AND MEDIA OUTLETS:  Special Olympics spokespersons are eager to share information about Special Olympics Barbados and its programmes.  To arrange interviews please contact: Edward Thompson: Phone: (246) 423 0967; E-mail: or
Special Olympics Barbados, 1st Floor, Speedbird House, Independence Square, Bridgetown, Barbados, (246) 426 9064