July 3, 2023 –THE HAGUE – The Kingdom is set to have its own Special Olympics Games. The event will take place on November 4th and 5th on the island of Bonaire. A total of 200 athletes from all six Caribbean islands and the European Netherlands will participate in this two-day event. Globally, over 190 countries have a national Special Olympics organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities through the organization of sports events.
The organization of the games is a collaboration between Special Olympics Bonaire, the sports department of the public body Indebon, and the care institution FKPD, under the leadership of Niels Cannegieter (tournament director of the National Games in the Netherlands in 2024 in Breda/Tilburg), with guidance and support from Special Olympics Caribbean, Special Olympics International, and Special Olympics Netherlands.
A local airline is sponsoring the travel costs of participants from Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius, Saba, Curaçao, and Aruba. Similar to other Special Olympic Games, the local expenses for accommodation, transportation, and food/beverages will be covered by the organizing party. Therefore, it is expected that all islands will be represented.
This initiative aligns with the government’s desire to improve accessibility and participation for people with disabilities across the entire Kingdom. Prior to the first edition of the Special Olympics Kingdom Games, a congress will be held in Kralendijk to discuss, among other topics, the potential implementation of the “Unlimited Participation!” program in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom.