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Digicel Sends Off Special Olympics Athletes Teams With Wishes Of Support

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Major sponsor of Special Olympics across the Caribbean will see 17 teams compete in the World Summer Games

This week, 17 Special Olympics teams and their family members will travel to Athens, Greece for the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games – many of whom are doing so thanks to Digicel.

Over the past number of months, Digicel has made a number of direct donations as well as actively raising funds and encouraging other corporates to support this worthy cause and help send teams to the World Games.

In Barbados, the Special Olympics will send a delegation of 40 athletes and officials to the World Summer Games thanks to Digicel’s efforts which include a US$50,000 donation plus further fundraising efforts which resulted in an additional US$20,000.

In a recent press release, Edward Thompson of Special Olympics Barbados said; “Public awareness of Special Olympics Barbados has received a tremendous boost thanks to inclusion on Digicel’s web site and Facebook site as the corporation’s customers and subscribers have been given the opportunity to learn more about the organisation and make donations. Digicel’s support is not limited to Barbados alone. The corporation has been deeply involved in all previous Special Olympics World Summer Games and is a major donor to Special Olympics programmes throughout the Caribbean region.

“Special Olympics Barbados is extremely appreciative of the fundraising effort spearheaded by Digicel. The corporation’s commitment ensured that Barbados will be among the 170 countries sending intellectually disabled athletes to fulfil their dreams of competing in the Special Olympics World Summer Games,” continued Mr Thompson.

In April, Digicel St. Lucia made a cheque donation of US$20,000 to the St. Lucia Special Olympics; ensuring 18 athletes will be in Greece to compete.

St. Lucia Special Olympics National Director, Junia Emmanuel Belizaire, said; “Digicel has been assisting the St. Lucia Special Olympics for some time, but this is the largest sum we have received in a single donation. As such, I’m struggling to express what this means to us. We are simply elated that – thanks to Digicel – we can now ensure our 18 athletes will make the trip to Greece for the World Summer Games in Athens this year.

The 18 St. Lucian Special Olympics athletes will compete across football; bocce and athletics.

In Jamaica, Digicel has been proud sponsors of the Special Olympic team for 10 years – as long as the company has been in operation – and earlier this month handed over a cheque valued at US$28,000 to assist the team’s journey to Athens this week. Executive Director of the Special Olympic Association, Lorna Bell, thanked Digicel for its contribution and said; “Digicel has always supported the Special Olympic team over the years and, as the official telecommunication sponsor of the team, we are extremely delighted that they were able to provide us with further aid as the team seeks to represent their country on the international stage.”

In addition, Digicel Jamaica has supported all activities to raise funds for the team’s journey to Athens, including sponsorship of the Law Enforcement Torch Run held in May, uniforms for the team and the sale of the Special Olympic team magazine in all Digicel dealer stores. Digicel Jamaica will also be providing the team with cell phones and call credit so they can stay connected to friends and family while in Athens.

Digicel Group Marketing Operations Director, Kieran Foley, said; “We are delighted to be supporting a cause which is so very close to Digicel’s heart. Digicel is the proud sponsor of many sports men and women across all our markets including cricket, football, rugby and athletics – but our sponsorship of Special Olympics organisations across the region is our most treasured partnership.

“The Special Olympics movement celebrates triumph over adversity and shines a light on those who have overcome great challenges to compete at Olympic level. These athletes are an inspiration to us all for their unwavering dedication and determination to be the best in their sport no matter what. We are honoured to be associated with Special Olympics, we hope that our support continues to garner further backing from communities and corporates alike – and we wish the very best of luck to all the athletes participating in the upcoming games,” continued Foley.

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