Digicel, St. Lucia’s Bigger, Better Network will send 18 St. Lucian Special Olympic athletes to the World Summer Games in Athens this year, with a donation of US$20,000.
The donation and cheque handover was made yesterday at the Beausejour Cricket ground, when members of the St. Lucia Special Olympics team came to meet the West Indies Cricket team ahead of their first match in the Digicel Series 2011, which kicks off today.
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’ve received in one 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 athletes have been working so hard the whole year around and this will be the first time many them will attend an international competition. It is truly a fantastic opportunity for them and for St. Lucia Special Olympics,” continued Ms. Belizaire.
In addition, the West Indies also took time out from their busy training schedule to show the Special Olympians some tips and tricks with the bat and ball. One Special Olympian, Jean-Claude Paul, was delighted with the opportunity to meet his heroes and said; “I had a lot of fun with the West Indies cricketers today. They taught me how to bat and bowl and they wished me good luck.”
Digicel St. Lucia General Manager, Geraldine Pitt, said; “As part of our promise to give back to our communities in St. Lucia, we are thrilled to be making this donation to Special Olympics.
“We are also very proud to have St. Lucia’s Special Olympians meet with their West Indies cricketing heroes and we wish both teams the very best in their respective fields this year.”
The 18 Special Olympics athletes will participate in the World Summer Games in Athens this June across three categories as follows: football; bocce and athletics.
The Digicel Series kicks off today when the Windies take on powerhouse, Pakistan, in the first Digicel Twenty20 today at the Beausejour Cricket ground in St. Lucia.