Special Olympics Belize holds AGM

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Updated: September 2, 2015

The Belize Special Olympics held their Annual General Meeting this past weekend to reflect on the growth and improvement of the organization over the last two years.  Candy Armstrong is the Chairperson of Special Olympics Belize.

Candy Armstrong – Chairperson, Special Olympics Belize

“Last Saturday night we had our annual general meeting, it was not an election year so we didn’t have any election of officers for the board however it was a time when members of the board looked and did a reflection and evaluation of our growth and areas for improvement over the past two years and so our discussions and deliberations, the presentations of reports were basically to give us an idea of where we are and for us to get a chance to plan some projections in areas that we want to grow. In 2014 we did a strategic plan and in that plan we wanted to specifically improve the number of athletes that we have in our program. We wanted to see growth in the area of trained coaches to work with the athletes and we wanted to have a stronger board that would be able to provide more leadership and direction to our organization so when we met on Saturday it was a matter of again, different groups like the board, district committees and our national director presenting information regarding where we are right now and then we looked at what are some possibilities for building our program in the next year.”

Armstrong told us about some of the improvements that the board discussed and want to implement into the New Year.

Candy Armstrong – Chairperson, Special Olympics Belize

One of our main objectives is to provide opportunities for year round training for our athletes. What we struggle with right now is that when we want to participate or when we get opportunities to participate in local, regional or international competitions is like the athletes come out to participate in that particular competition but it’s not like they are involved in year round training so as we all know when we have competitions everybody cannot participate and so we want to build our program into year round programs so more athletes get to participate year round and then some of them would then get an opportunity to participate when its competitions whether its local or regional or international, so that is one of the areas that we want to go in. One of the other areas that we real want to go in is to try to encourage sensitized and have athletes outside of the school age participate in our programs. The majority of our athletes right now are students within the school system but we find now that even when they come out of the school system they feel as though they can no longer participate in our programs. Special Olympics is an organization for persons with intellectual disabilities between the ages of 5-99 so you can be very old and still be a special Olympic athlete.

Armstrong says that Belize Special Olympics has had a good year, with many improvements and they have seen a lot of growth within the organization.

Candy Armstrong – Chairperson, Special Olympics Belize

Our AGM was actually to look at reflect at our achievements in 2013 and 2014 and yes we believe that it’s a good year. We have seen significant growth in many areas even though it wasn’t a part of our activities for 2014 we are also still on our high on celebrating the accomplishments of our girls who participated in the world summer games and so again we looked at that. We looked the increase in training for our coaches, we saw that as an area of growth. We also celebrate and really appreciate a partnership that we have with special Olympics Arizona because in order for our volunteer coaches to be certified they have to be Special Olympics international certified and in Belize we really don’t have persons who are certified to offer such training and so that training is facilitated for us by Special Olympics Arizona so we sign a partnership agreement in 2014 and we consider that to be one of our areas of strength, one of the areas that we have really grown in the past years.”