Special Partnership Develops Between St Kitts and Connecticut for Special Olympics
Exchange visits, monetary contributions and joint programme development are the signature benefits of the newly formed relationship between Special Olympics St. Kitts and Nevis (SOSKN) and its sister organization from Connecticut, U.S.A.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two associations this week, at a ceremony at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort. President Robert “Beau” Doherty and local Chairman, Lloyd Lazar were the signatories.
Mr. Doherty told SKNIS that Special Olympics Connecticut (SOCT) was established 41 years ago and has more than 6,000 athletes that participate in 24 sporting disciplines. He explained that he was impressed with the organization here and outlined some of the key factors that influenced the decision to partner with the twin-island Federation.
“The Governments down in the Caribbean are very supportive of coaches’ training,” he noted, highlighting the qualifications of local coaches that work along with the special athletes, including the head of athletics for the programme, Sylvester Dore.
“The guy is tremendous. I wish I had people like him in my State. When you have that kind of a skill set, it sets a tone here and displays a strength which other Caribbean islands probably do not have.”
“But we really wanted a place where, when people went to it, they would go back and say this is one of the greatest experiences in my life, and we think that this is the place where that’s going to happen,” he stressed.
Mr. Doherty also presented a cheque for US $1,000.00 donated by his colleague and former chairman of SOCT, James Van Hoff. He told Mr. Lazar, that another donation will be made to Special Olympics St. Kitts and Nevis in November as part of the 3 year partnership agreement.
President Doherty also had high praise for the islands sporting infrastructure describing it as “phenomenal.”
The signing was witnessed by SOCT Board Member Joyce Ann Gallo; National Director of SOSKN Clarice Cotton; Chairman of the Special Olympics committee in Nevis Randolph Boddie and special athletes.
Mr. Boddie told SKNIS that establishing relations with other associations is “very positive” as the exchange of ideas and best practices will strengthen both programmes.
National Chairman Lloyd Lazar explained that it was a very exciting time for the local movement.
“We are witnessing an occasion which certainly presents a world of shining hope for all of us particularly those special athletes from St. Kitts and Nevis and Connecticut,” Lazar said, referencing a song called ‘A Time for Us’ recorded by Johnny Mathis.
Chairman Lazar shared the sentiment of Mr. Doherty which imagined similar relationships being formed by the Special Olympics Associations around the world.