Sports

SOJ footballers register 4-0 victory over South Africa

Sanjay Myers
Sport Reporter
Special Olympics Summer Games
In UAE

Thursday, March 14, 2019

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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Nickque Ellis scored twice to lead the Special Olympics Jamaica (SOJ) unified football team to a 4-0 beating of their South African counterparts in their opening group game of the World Summer Games at Zayed Sports City Stadium yesterday.

Captain Moran Singh and Ryan Lewis were the other scorers in the 60-minute encounter.

Shane Richards, the SOJ football coach, was pleased his team did not give up a goal against the South Africans, but said there is scope for improvement.

“I am happy [though] we never started out the way we should have. We scored an early penalty and settled the jitter… and we came back in the second half to score three goals,” he said.

“It was teamwork more than individual… and it was good not to concede a goal. We would like to improve in midfield because we are not keeping the ball,” Richards added.

The Jamaican female football team also featured yesterday, drawing 1-1 with Serbia before beating Bangladesh 1-0 in respective 15-minute divisioning matches. Kayana Gordon scored against Serbia, while Tiana Schroter notched the winner versus Bangladesh.

“The team did well to come from a goal down to draw the first game. In the second match it was more of a patience game and they were able to come out on top. The team did its best, they possessed the ball which means they could have dictated the game,” Richards said regarding the performance from the females.

Divisioning is done in Special Olympics competition so that organisers can assess the skill level of athletes and teams, thereby matching them against others of similar ability.

Matching them in that fashion ensures competitions are meaningful and competitive action for athletes and spectators.

Up to press time yesterday, other members of Jamaica's contingent to the 2019 Abu Dhabi Games were also set for divisioning action.

Special Olympics Jamaica is also competing in athletics, bocce, roller skating, swimming, unified basketball, unified volleyball (male and female), and unified badminton at these Games.

Special Olympics is a global organisation that provides year-round sports training and athletic competition, in a variety of Olympic-type sports, for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

The unified programme brings people with and without intellectual disabilities together on the same team during competition.

The Games will officially begin today with the opening ceremony at Zayed Sports City. The closing ceremony is set for the same venue on March 21.


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