Nadia McLennan and daughter Felicia McLennan share the same dream –– to win gold at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, California.
The two will team up to help represent Barbados in the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world in the sport of bocce, a bowling game of African and Roman origin. Nadia explained that bocce was a highly competitive sport which stimulated the brain because of the necessity to strategise. Felicia said the sport was “good exercise” and she liked the competition.
Joining Nadia and Felicia on the Special Olympics Barbados bocce team for the July 25 to August 2 World Games, are Special Olympics athlete Patrick Hinds and unified partner Rico Wiggins of the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme. Unified partners are participants who do not have intellectual disabilities and compete alongside athletes, who have intellectual disabilities. Nadia McLennan will participate with her daughter as a unified partner against other unified teams.
Special Olympics Barbados head bocce coach Lois Inniss said she believed Nadia was quite surprised when she asked her to partner with her daughter Felicia for the World Games. The coach said she was looking forward to a good performance from the mother and daughter team. Nadia is also assistant bocce coach and has been working closely with Felicia for a decade and the other bocce athletes to make them better players.
In the previous Special Olympics World Games, held in 2011 in Athens, Greece, the two athletes representing Barbados in bocce, Justin Edwards and Laura Sobers, returned home from the international competition with bronze medals.
Special Olympics Barbados plans to send 26 athletes and two unified partners to the Games. The trip will cost in excess of $200,000 and Special Olympics Barbados has launched an appeal to the corporate and general community for assistance for the athletes who will be competing in aquatics, athletics, bocce, golf and seven-a-side soccer. Those wishing to assist can do so by contributing to the fund at CIBC First Caribbean International Bank, account number 1001111009.
The World Games will draw 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches from 177 countries.