"Say Cheese!" Members of the Family Network pose for a photo during the event.(Vashti Thompson - kneeling in front row, White blouse, first from right. Vashni Thompson - kneeling front row, short sleeve white blouse, second from right. )
EKS Day is one of the most anticipated days in the calendar of Special Olympics Bahamas.
For the third time in as many years, the annual event was held under the auspices of The United States Embassy. More than 70 Athletes along with Special Olympics Chairman Mr. Nello Lambert, Board Members, U.S. Charge d' Affaires Mr. John Dinkleman, Coaches, US Embassy Staff, Family Members and Friends converged on the grounds of the Ambassador’s Residence located at Liberty Overlook on Sandford Drive Western New Providence.
The day was a huge success. The event lasted for two hours (10 am- 12 noon) and there was an abundance of pizza, cotton candy and other refreshments. There was face painting, a dunk tank, several matches of Bocce, Sac Races and Egg and Spoon Races. Family members, athletes, volunteers, coaches and Embassy staff engaged in friendly competition and the atmosphere was warm and inviting. It was one big family affair!
The event was special to me, because it celebrated the contributions of a strong and determined woman who made immense efforts to create a normal life for her sister (Rosemary) and other individuals with Intellectual Disabilities like her. It was encouraging to me because I too have a sister (my twin sister Vashni Thompson) who has Down Syndrome. My interaction with her and her friends has enriched my life, and I wish that everyone everywhere could have the experience I enjoyed over the past 14 years.
I carry on Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s legacy as I spread the word at every opportunity that persons with Intellectual Disabilities are no different from anyone else. They have their challenges, just like everyone else. They have their strengths and weaknesses, just like everyone else.
They have a desire to contribute to society and to be respected in society, just like everyone else.
I also carry on her legacy by volunteering with my parents (Alicia and Geoffrey Thompson) in the Family Network and by spending quality time and beco
About Vashti Thompson: I am Vashti Thompson a fourteen year old family member and youth volunteer of Special Olympics Bahamas. I am a Global Youth Ambassador and I along with my mother Alicia and father Geoffrey were introduced to Special Olympics when my twin sister Vashni (who was born with Down Syndrome) became involved.
I am a 10th grade student of St. Augustine's College Nassau, Bahamas and I aspire to be a Marine Biologist. I am outspoken and I believe in being a positive influence on those around me. I tend to speak my mind when I don’t have a good feeling about something. The little things matter to me.
I believe in equality and the acceptance of all people with Special Needs and I enjoy being in their presence. They have taught me many things that I’ve never known before, and I’ve taught them things they wished to know. I am involved in swimming with Special Olympics Bahamas and I am the Secretary of the Special Olympics Bahamas Family Network.