Vincentian Special Olympians receive  assistance from Digicel for Berlin Games
Akeil Mathew (left), Sezevra Joseph (third from right), Victor Kovacs (second from right) and Marvin McBarnett along with two Special Olympians (photo by Robertson S. Henry)
June 2, 2023
Vincentian Special Olympians receive assistance from Digicel for Berlin Games

Telecommunications company, Digicel, has come to the support of Special Olympics St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to enable their participation in the upcoming world games.

Chief executive officer of Digicel SVG, Victor Kovacs, said they are most pleased to be supporting the Special Olympics team to the World Games in Berlin, Germany in the amount of US$15,000.00. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is one of 11 Caribbean countries that will participate in the Games and its contingent of 12 athletes and eight officials is part of a total of 260 Caribbean athletes that Digicel is assisting to compete at the Games.

The Vincentian contingent will compete in Athletics, Swimming and Tennis at the 2023 World Games, the flagship event for Special Olympians the world over, which runs from June 17 – 25, 2023.

“We are very staunch supporters of these Special Olympic teams, and we have been doing this for years,” Kovacs stated at a press briefing on Wednesday, May 24.

He noted that the support is based on an initiative by Digicel’s founder and Chairman Denis O’Brien, who is a very strong supporter of Special Olympics. These sentiments were underscored by customer service representative at Digicel, Akeil Mathews who told those attending the press briefing on Wednesday morning May 24, that “we acknowledge our commitment to the Special Olympics Committee of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as they are ready to represent our country at the 2023 Special Olympics Games in Berlin, Germany”.

Mathews, said the Games have “grown into an international demonstration of inclusion, acceptance, and unity”.

He added that effective May 24, through to June 15, 2023, Digicel is giving Vincentians the opportunity to support the team “by texting the word ‘SOSVG’ to the number 5151 and donating $1.00 local currency per text.”

“Money is one thing … but the thing that I love seeing the most is people in the stands,” Kovacs, a former athlete said at Wednesday’s brief ceremony which was held at the La Vue Hotel in Villa.

Director of Special Olympics SVG Sezevra Joseph, told the gathering that the Special Olympic athletes “always make St. Vincent and the Grenadines proud when they go out there.”

Special Olympics SVG has been in existence since 1981, and save for a break in attendance in the early 2000s, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has always been a very competitive participant at the Special Olympics World Games.

“Our athletes have never failed to make us proud and they always represent themselves and their country… they are always disciplined. They follow instructions, and they do what they have been trained to do,” Joseph said.

She also pointed out that Digicel has always been there for the Special Olympics, “and for that we are grateful.”

This year’s Berlin Special Olympics is expected to be different for the Vincentian contingent. In the past the team never had a Vincentian presence, but this year a small number of Vincentians is expected to be in the stands cheering on the athletes. The team is also expected to be honoured guests of Vincentians living in Germany during their stay.

The 12 Vincentian athletes attending the Games are : Jason Browne, Pressley Peters, Neisha Sutherland, Jermalia Butcher, Racquel Millar, Jason Williams, Walsh Ollivierre, Christa Bynoe, Utticus Smith, Natasha Doyle, Andrick Arthur, and Terrel Hull. They will be among the 7,000 athletes expected from over 170 nations. Two males and two females athletes will represent SVG in each discipline in which the local team will compete.