St. Maarten Special athletes arrive in Greece for World Summer Games

POSTED: 06/20/11 1:08 PM

St. Maarten – Eleven “special” athletes left St. Maarten on Saturday to represent St. Maarten at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece. The games run from June 25 – July 4. The delegation returns on July 5. Special Olympics Foundation St. Maarten President First Lady Angela-Richards-Huggins said the delegation left in “high spirits.”

“They have arrived safely in Greece. At the time that we spoke last they were all still very excited and were on their way by means of a ferry crossing to go to the host town, the Island of Chania. They will arrive in the host town on Monday morning where they will be hosted for four days. They leave for Athens on June 25 to attend the official opening of the Games.”

Athletes are drawn from the Prins Willem Alexander School for Special Education (PWAS), Sr. Basilia Center and St. Maarten Vocational Training School. They will participate in three of the 24 sports: track and field (racing, shot put and long jump), swimming and bocce.

Representing St. Maarten in track and field will be will be Linda Richardson and Milinda Rogers from the Sr. Basilia Center; Katiana Pierre and Joseph Fidanque from Prins Willem Alexander School and Stefano Gordon and Jivana Claxton from the St. Maarten Vocational Training School. Competing in swimming will be Willemijn Verloop and Roger Jeffers of the Sr. Basilia Center and Jivanta Claxton and Nathan Mollineau from the Prins Willem Alexander School (PWAS). Albert Arrindell from the Sr. Basilia Center will compete in bocce.

Athletes are accompanied by five coaches (Les Brown, Antroy Cleghorn, Isha Marlin and Debby Rombley), Head of Delegation (HOD) Special Olympics Foundation St. Maarten (SOSM)  Secretary Loyola Seymonson and one Assistant Head of Delegation (Asst. HOD) Greta Mathew.

The entire trip costs an estimated 68, 000 guilders (58, 000 guilders in tickets alone). The host country is responsible for meals, accommodation and ground transportation. The St. Maarten team will be sporting uniforms bearing the colours of the country’s flag: red, white and blue.

An estimated 7, 500 Special Olympics Athletes from 185 nations will compete in 22 Olympic-type sports at the international event. The games are held every four years in a different nation.


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