Akitunde “Akim” Hall is excited about the opportunity to represent Barbados at the imminent Special Olympics Games in Los Angeles, California.
“I want to bring home a gold medal,” Hall said confidently.
The St Peter resident has been selected for the Special Olympics Barbados athletics (track & field) team, which is hoping to make its mark at the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world in 2015. The world games, which take place July 25 to August 2, will draw 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators. The games will provide an opportunity for intellectually challenged children and adults to show the world their joy of accomplishment.
Although Hall has his focus set on winning gold, he said he didn’t mind winning a silver or bronze medal. He stated he planned to do his very best on the track in the sprints and middle distance races, but also saw competing in the Special Olympics World Games as an opportunity to meet and interact with people from all over the world and to learn about their different cultures. Hall, who is also a Special Olympics golf, cricket and football athlete, said that participating in so many sports kept him very fit.
Hall is one of eleven athletes selected for the Special Olympics Barbados athletics (track and field) team. Head coach Roger Dyall and assistant coach Janita Austin have been working for months preparing the runners for the international competition. Also on the athletics team are Kenny Alleyne, Raymond Delphi, Korey Kellman, Tiffany Branch, Anyia Joseph, Nikita Maycock, Rosie Murray and alternates Tashona Gale-Brathwaite, Tiana Harewood and Shaniese Straughn.
Special Olympics Barbados hopes to send a full team of 26 athletes to the 2015 Special Olympics World Games to compete in five sports disciplines: aquatics, athletics, bocce, golf and soccer (seven-a-side football).
Persons interested in assisting the athletes facilitate the expensive undertaking can make donations to the “Digicel Road to the World Games Fund” at CIBC First Caribbean International Bank, account number 1001111009.