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Jul 13, 2017

Camp for Athletes Living with Intellectual Disabilities Organized by Special Olympics

Schools across the country have now closed; it means that it is the beginning of summer camps. Earlier today, we stopped by a unique camp for athletes living with intellectual disabilities organized by Special Olympics. The camp is taking place at Price Barracks and as many as two hundred children are taking part in all sorts of activities. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Through the power of sports, persons with intellectual disabilities continue to discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success.  For the past two days, as many as two hundred young athletes have been participating in various outdoor activities that have been organized by the Special Olympics.  They have gathered at the Price Barracks where they are competing against each other in disciplines including football.  Camp Shriver, as the three-day event is known, is an annual program.

 

Phillip Marin

Phillip Marin, National Director, Special Olympics

“Camp Shriver is just a camp for our children, our children with intellectual disabilities.  Every year we bring them in to participate in our five sporting disciplines that we practice here in Belize which is football, basketball, volleyball, etc…”

 

Isani Cayetano

“What are we looking at in terms of the numbers of participants and some of the activities that they have engaged in for the past two days?”

 

Phillip Marin

“The total number of participants is two hundred and ten.  We have from five districts.  We have from Punta Gorda, Dangriga, Cayo District, which Belmopan represents them.  We have Orange Walk and Corozal here.  The only district not represented here is the Belize District.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Is there a reason for that?”

 

Phillip Marin

“Not really, the main reason is that it was a short notice and the kids are out of school and it’s a little bit hard to get them out when they are out of school.”

 

Attending the summer camp all the way from Dangriga is Ilda Romero.  She’s particularly interested in playing bocce, or Italian lawn bowling.

 

Ilda Romero

Ilda Romero, Athlete, Special Olympics

“It’s been interesting walking and playing and watching all the games and how everybody is interested to play and I’ve only been playing one game.  I’ve not been playing others.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“What game have you been doing well in?”

 

Ilda Romero

“Bocce.  I love playing bocce right now.”

 

Special Olympics continues to be the world’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities.  It has a registry of over four point seven million athletes in one hundred and sixty-nine countries.

 

Isani Cayetano

“How beneficial has this kind of activity been for these Special Ed students, so to speak?”

 

Phillip Marin

“These types of activities encourage our athletes to demonstrate their different skills in the different sporting disciplines.  Also, it’s an opportunity to meet friends and to develop skills and to develop their fitness levels.  It also gives them this feeling to express themselves, that they belong here in society.”

 

Camp Shriver culminates on Friday in Ladyville. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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