The proverbial fire within the hearts of disabled youths around the country was lit this morning as the Special Olympics concluded the week long torch run that started on December 1 in southern Belize. This is the 15th celebration of the event and it falls in line with Disabilities Awareness Week 2019. The event began with Law enforcement officers igniting a torch of hope. This torch was carried around the country by police and other law enforcement officers, including the National Fire Service, Customs Department, and The Kolbe Foundation in an effort to raise awareness for children with disabilities and the Belize Special Olympics. According to Kandice Morrison, National Director, Special Olympics Belize, this event allows the children the opportunity to showcase their talents and skills.
Kandice Morrison, National Director, Belize Special Olympics: “We have three main sports here today which are track and field, Bocce, and seven a side football. On display of course we’ll see their athletic abilities and besides that we do have medical coverage in terms of medical checkups, the dental team is here that will check their over all health at these games. To the general public I believe in your attendance and view or what you see from the media you will see that these children have tremendous talents and we’re hoping that with the talents that are displayed here and seen and broadcasted that you would somehow have a heart, a tender heart more towards this population. You’d also see that they’re worth investing in, that they can play sports, that they can develop physically, cognitively, that they are as talented as any other individual so that’s what we’re hoping to gain besides them having this opportunity to share with their families the joy of competing and playing. This culminates disability awareness week and basically because we have this large event that we’re busing in children from all the six districts it kind of displays what they can do and it shows to the public this is an awareness and advocacy in one event. So basically this is what we’re hoping to accomplish.”
Kandice Morrison stated that there are 750 registered disabled children around the country but there are still a significant amount of unregistered children.