Special Olympics Cayman Islands (SOCI) on Tuesday Oct 29 held its annual Healthy Athletes Fair at the Lighthouse School. Supported by over 120 medical and non-medical volunteers, the Healthy Athletes Fair screened over 40 Special Olympics athletes across seven health categories making this the biggest fair to date since its launch back in 2010.
The Healthy Athletes programme is part of a global Special Olympics initiative and covers screenings across visual health, dentistry, audiology, podiatry, physical therapy, nutrition and emotional health. This year’s fair saw the introduction of Strong Minds, which is the first step towards screening the mental health of the athletes. This screening included education for the athletes on stress management techniques including yoga, mindfulness and breathing techniques. Another first this year was the transition from post-screening data entry to live data entry as each athlete was screened.
The fair was also attended by The Governor, patron of SOCI as well as the Minister for Sports, and the Minister for Health, who each made some opening remarks before officially opening the fair.
Speaking about the fair, Dr. Sarah Cuff, Medical Director for SOCI commented: “The impact of these screenings on the health and wellness of Special Olympics athletes is significant. The programme has identified undetected health problems, alleviated pain and provided health services that otherwise would not be available. The screenings ensure that our athletes can not only compete to the best of their ability at events like the world games, but also live their lives to the fullest too. We’d like to thank all of our volunteers, supporters and sponsors who all played a significant role in making the Healthy Athletes Fair the success that it was.”
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