Kester Eduards
Athlete Special Olympics

Kester works in Special Olympics Sports and Competition department and focuses his time and energy on developing and growing the movement’s many sport initiatives.

Kester’s journey with Special Olympics has been lifelong. He became an athlete at the age of eight and over the years has participated in aquatics, athletics, football, basketball, volleyball and floor hockey. Kester had the honor of representing Special Olympics Trinidad and Tobago at two Special Olympics World Games and in 1998 was selected to be one of the very first Sargent Shriver International Global Messengers.

In June 2001, Kester accepted an offer to take on a professional role at Special Olympics International. Over the course of 18 years Kester has worked in a variety of roles, bringing his unique energy and passion to various projects designed to build a more inclusive world. Yet a busy professional life has not stopped Kester’s interest and determination to bring new and exciting sports to the Special Olympics movement. In 2004 a new passion was born when Kester was one of a number of Special Olympics athletes to compete in the RCP Tiburon Mile Open Water Swim in San Francisco, California. This experience, coupled with Kester’s passion and expertise for open water swimming, ultimately led to open water swimming being established as an official Special Olympics sport.

At the Special Olympics World Summer Games in July 2011 in Athens, Greece, 35 Special Olympics athletes took part in the very first open water swimming event for Special Olympics – a 1500-meter demonstration in the Aegean Sea. While staying committed to developing open water swimming even further, in the years since, Kester also worked to deliver the first ever triathlon event at the 2010 Special Olympics Latin America Regional Games in Puerto Rico. This grueling test of strength and endurance challenged athletes in a combined swimming, cycling and running event and was instrumental in helping change perceptions of people with intellectual disabilities.

Kester has partnered with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move Campaign,” to encourage more people with disabilities to add physical activity to their lives. Over 1,000 athletes, families and friends took part in the campaign and received the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+). In May 2017, Kester received the Melvin Jones Fellowship on behalf of Lions Clubs International, recognizing his long-time dedication to the organization.

All photos are courtesy of speakers or their affiliations unless otherwise indicated.