Seven differently-abled Guyanese athletes complete NY Marathon
By Clyde Pestano
November 23, 2003
Seven differently-abled athletes from the Achilles Track Club (Guyana) returned home recently after completing the New York Marathon, which was held on November 2. They all received medals after finishing the gruelling 26-mile event. Eight athletes entered the marathon and just one failed to finish.
The Achilles Track Club (Guyana) was founded in January 2001 and is a branch of the New York Achilles Track Club Inc, which was started in 1983.
The Guyana branch is led by President Neville Duncan, Secretary Marcelle Williams and Treasurer Fazil Shaw. The club's motto is "running, rehabilitation and education."
According to the president, the main aim of the club is to train athletes to run in marathons. He added that they focus on rehabilitation of persons who have acquired disabilities as well as those born with disabilities.
On the educational aspect, Duncan said that persons are trained in different areas so as to acquire skills which will assist them in their livelihood. He mentioned that five members of the club recently graduated from the Open Doors Centre; four of them with certificates in Information Tech-nology and one in Electrical Installation.
Duncan who is an instructor at the centre disclosed to Stabroek Sport that his disability was acquired when in 1992 he was hit off his bicycle in Carmichael Street by a car. He lost both of his legs and also had two surgeries in 1999. Before his accident Duncan was a part-time instructor and contractor.
He told Stabroek Sport that he has participated in the New York Marathon since 2000 and this year eight members of the club participated for the first time.
The athlete also revealed that their trip was partly self-sponsored with the rest of their financing acquired through the kind assistance of North American Airlines, National Pride, Federal Management Systems, DHL, Bettencourt Bag Factory, NIS, Cummings Electrical and Achilles Track Club Inc NY as well as family and friends.
The club's address is Achilles Track Club (Guyana), J 29-945 Critchlow Street, Tucville, Georgetown. Members of the club train at the Botanical Gardens on Saturdays from 06:00 hrs to 08:00 hrs. The club can be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and on telephone numbers, 618-7902 and 231-8286