??Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley, admiring an athlete’s medal, while some of the other athletes and (from back row left) General Manager of Digicel, Barry O’Brien; calypsonian Mikey; Commercial Director at Digicel, Alex Tasker, and singer Kirk Browne look on. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

This island’s Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley, has described the outstanding performance of the seven special olympic athletes who represented Barbados at the recent World Games in Athens, Greece, as "a phenomenal display of talent and determination".

While addressing a Digicel-sponsored cocktail reception yesterday at Lucky Horseshoe, Bagatelle, St. Thomas, in honour of the Barbados 2011 Special Olympics Team, Mr. Lashley reiterated that they "did Barbados proud" on the international stage.

"When we consider the medal tally of two golds, one silver and four bronze, along with six participant awards in various disciplines, including athletics, table tennis and bocce, one word comes to mind to describe this tremendous effort and that word is – ???excellence’.

"Against the odds and despite whatever challenges they may have faced, they were able to overcome through hard work and sheer determination to achieve excellence," he stated.

Acknowledging that the journey to Athens was not an easy one, the Minister noted that there were challenges in relation to funding and other things, and commended those individuals and businesses who contributed financially and otherwise to ensure the team was able to participate in the games.

"Alex Tasker and Digicel must, of course, be commended for willingly taking the lead in this regard. I applaud your continued demonstration of a sense of corporate social responsibility, and I take this opportunity to thank you for supporting sports and cultural activities in Barbados," Mr. Lashley added.

He urged the athletes to continue on the path of excellence and said he looked forward to additional achievements from them in the future.

Commercial Director of Digicel, Alex Tasker, said the company’s mandate included ensuring athletes represented their country at overseas meets and, it therefore, made a special effort to make sure the athletes went to Greece.

Mr. Tasker added that Digicel was committed to special needs children in Barbados and urged all to follow the company’s lead.

"Very soon we will seek to enhance the Ellerton Special Needs School. We have asked some of our partners to come on board again. We have built a special ramp for the children who need to get to the play park …, Chefette has donated a play park and Courts Barbados Limited donated a microwave and a refrigerator," he disclosed.

Those athletes who represented Barbados in Greece are: Nikita Maycock, Rashad King, Marwyn Lorde, Laura Sobers, Korey Kellman, Justin Edwards and Natalie Daniel.


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