The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, in partnership with Special Olympics Belize and the Special Envoy for Women and Children congratulates the Belize Female Bocce Team on winning silver medals in both Unified Bocce and Bocce Doubles at the World Special Olympics Games 2015 held in Los Angeles, California from July 25 to August 2. The Belize Team competed among 165 countries and 6,500 international athletes in an air of friendship and goodwill. Their participation under the Unified Sports Experience events helped to foster a relationship of respect, acceptance, camaraderie and victory as Silver Medalists.
The delegation was comprised of athletes: Jasmine Flores, Anna Emmanuel; partners Ilda Romero and Jayna Locke, all students from Holy Ghost Primary School in Dangriga. The athletes were accompanied by the Special Olympics National Coordinator, Mrs. Elodia Bautista; Team Coach, Ms. Kadey Kerr; Team Physician, Dr. Nelson Marin; Teacher, Ms. Devon Garcia; Observer Mr. Axil Marin and representatives from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports; Dr. Candy Armstrong, Chairperson of the Board of Directors – Special Olympics Belize Dr. Carol Babb, Deputy Chief Education Officer and Education Information Officer Yma Casey.
The Belize delegation was honored to have the presence and support of Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow and Mrs. Kim Simplis, who also serves as the Global Ambassador for Special Olympics. The Office of the Counselor General in Los Angeles functioned as an integral member of the team in organizing and facilitating the delegation in logistical efforts. Together, the Belizean delegation created a historic imprint, as support for the athletes who demonstrated the indomitable Belizean human spirit where even in defeat, remained humbled and determined in competition.
Special Olympics Belize continues its efforts to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities; giving them opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families and other Special Olympics athletes; all in an effort to promote acceptance and inclusion.
The team was welcomed home on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, at 9:40a.m. at the Phillip Goldson International Airport after which they were treated to a celebratory lunch at the Inspiration Center.