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Brightfield Shadi

Global Athlete Input Council

Brightfield is from Botswana, where he was raised by his aunt. She helped him through school and then, in 2008, they found a Special Olympics program which, he says, changed his life. At age 18, he began in athletics—the 100-meter and 200-meter—and won silver at the 2011 World Summer Games in Athens. Then it was on to football (soccer) and volleyball. He is now coaching a unified volleyball team that trained for the 2015 World Summer Games in Los Angeles. Brightfield loves being a coach because he can bring the power of Special Olympics sports to more people with intellectual disabilities.

Currently, he coaches athletes in football at two primary schools. He is also a volleyball coach in his home village of Serowe. He has also gone through athlete leadership training and enjoys public speaking. When he is not involved in sports or working with the athlete leadership council, Brightfield was accepted to the National Service Program where he is employed full time as an assistant teacher at a primary school. He also has a certificate in carpentry and screen prints T-shirts to sell in his community. Brightfield says he's a different person than he was before getting involved in Special Olympics. "Now, I am a person who believes in myself and also that everything happens for a reason.”

Global Athlete Input Council
  • Brightfield Shadi Brightfield is from Botswana, where he was raised by his aunt. She helped him through school and then, in 2008, they found a Special Olympics program which, he says, changed his life. At age 18, he began in athletics—the 100-meter and 200-meter—and won silver at the 2011 World Summer Games in Athens. Then it was on to football (soccer) and volleyball. He is now coaching a unified volleyball team that trained for the 2015 World Summer Games in Los Angeles. Brightfield loves being a coach because he can bring the power of Special Olympics sports to more people with intellectual disabilities.
  • Jasmine Sharif From Karachi, Pakistan, Jasmine Sharif is proud to serve as the Vice Chairperson of the Global Athlete Input Council. She is excited to represent Asia Pacific on the GAIC and promises to do her best in making a difference in the lives of her fellow athletes. In addition to her work on the GAIC, she serves as a Board Member of Special Olympics Pakistan and Co-Chairperson of the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Athlete Input Council. She also works at the Special Olympics Pakistan head office.
  • Ken Melvin From Russellville, Indiana, Ken Melvin is honored to serve as the Chair and the North American representative of the Global Athlete Input Council. He believes the Global Athlete Input Council will play a significant role in determining the future for Special Olympics and furthering goals and programs that athletes believe are important. He is also currently serving on the North America Athlete Input Council. Outside of Special Olympics, Ken owns and operates a trucking business and was a member of the Indiana National Guard from 2007 – 2013.
  • Julio Barrera Julio’s first experience in leadership was in 2005 when he represented the athletes in a conference in Japan. He started working in 2013 at an airline company in panama, COPA AIRLINES in the service on board department, which he really enjoys.
  • Micheline Van Hees Micheline Van Hees is from Hoeilaart, a small town in Belgium. She joined Special Olympics Belgium more than 10 years ago. Although a former swimmer, she is now into bocce. In her sport club she is also a respected assistant coach in swimming and athletics. Micheline is an active member of the Board of Directors for Special Olympics Belgium. On an international level she takes part into the European Eurasia Leadership Council, European Athlete Input Council and now also the Global Athlete Input Council. She loves to speak to other athletes so she can represent them on a higher level. That is also her aim for the GAIC, to represent the European athletes in the best possible way. In 2014, Micheline was chosen to be one of the 14 athlete ambassadors of the Special Olympics European Summer Games that were organized in 2014 in Antwerp, Belgium. Even now she has remained a strong ambassador for the Belgian organization. In her spare time she volunteers in a local senior home close to where she lives.
  • Nada Al Rachid Nada Al Rachid is from Tunisia. She works as a sport coach in “AL Walid Sports Center” for people with Intellectual Disabilities, in Ariana, Tunisia. Prior to her experience with Special Olympics, Nada has been a trainee in “AL Walid Sports Center” for people with Intellectual Disabilities which offered her the opportunity to join Special Olympics and make a wide variety of sports achievements both at the National and International levels. Thanks to her experience, Nada is now inspiring other people to follow her lead through her work as a trainer and her close relationship with the children in whom she sees hope.
  • Wilson (Wai Shing) Man Wilson Man is honored to serve as the East Asia Representative on the Global Athlete Input Council, where he speaks on behalf of other Special Olympics athletes and works to change the perceptions of people with intellectual disabilities. He also works alongside mentors to lead Hong Kong’s athlete leaders in the local athlete input council to build an inclusive community. Outside of Special Olympics, he is a steward in Grand Hyatt, Hong Kong.
  • Nyasha Derera As a Special Olympics Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger (SSIGM), Nyasha Derera hopes to become a voice for the voiceless.
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