Saturday, Aug 17, 2019
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Special Olympics Bahamas torch run and fun day approaching

Special OIympics Bahamas athletes always turn in fantastic performances in representing the country, and now it’s time to celebrate with them, as they stage their biggest yearly fundraiser.

The Special OIympics Bahamas 3rd Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run and Family Fun Day is set for Saturday, August 17. The two-to-three mile torch run will get underway at 9:30 a.m. at the courts on Nassau Street adjacent to Nassau Street Police Station, and will travel south on Nassau Street onto University Drive to the six-legged roundabout, and continue onto Dolphin Drive to Stapledon School, where the fun day will be held. The official opening is set for 11 a.m., and there will be fun and food all day.

“Most of the Special OIympics Bahamas athletes will be out that day taking part in various activities, for the most part basketball and bocce, and we want the public to come out and celebrate with them. The event is open to the public,” said Special OIympics Bahamas National Director Gilbert Williams. “There will be a grill out with a number of food items on the grill and this year we are having a grand raffle. We’re looking for donations and partnerships and try to help our own cause as much as possible, and hopefully we’ll get the support that we need.”

A grand time is expected to be had by all. In the first two events, a number of law enforcement officers from the various law enforcement branches in The Bahamas came out to support the Special OIympics Bahamas athletes. This year is expected to be no different. The Special OIympics Bahamas athletes had one of its biggest hauls, in terms of medals, at the Special Olympics World Summer Games earlier this year. The Bahamian athletes won 14 medals in total – six gold, three silver and five bronze – at the games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). A total of 21 of the 23 athletes won medals, and The Bahamas reached the medal podium in each of the five sports it contested.

“It was a fantastic showing,” said Williams. “Even though medals are not usually how we measure success, we could use that to say that we had a very good showing. You know living in The Bahamas, if you don’t come back with medals, Bahamians would look at it a different way, but we’re just thankful that we were able to do what we did. Also, there were a number of personal best performances, and that’s all we could ask of the athletes. That was really fantastic for us,” he added.

Williams said the support for Team Bahamas has been generally good over the years, but it could always get better.

“The support has been growing, and that’s encouraging, but we are always in need of funds,” he said. “This year, we had very good representation at the Special Olympics World Games and if we are going to continue to represent the country well in international competition, we will need as much support as possible. We’re looking to get even more support than what we have gotten in the past two years,” he added.

The next edition of the Special Olympics World Summer Games is set for June 16-25, 2023, in Berlin, Germany.

Sheldon Longley

Sports Editor at The Nassau Guardian
Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.
Education: College of The Bahamas, Associates in Accounting
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