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Penny McDowall, champion for the intellectually disabled, passes away

The Cayman Islands community continues to mourn the loss of Penny McDowall.

Ms. McDowall died Monday (31 December) after battling cancer for six years.

She was a driving force in assisting those with intellectual disabilities.

A long-time teacher at Lighthouse School, she served as Special Olympics Cayman Islands Sports Director and sat on the board of directors. She helped develop and led the SOCI swimming program for nearly 20 years.

In 2018, she was named Special Olympics North America’s Coach of the Year. She’s the first Caribbean-based coach to ever win the honour.

Special Olympics Caribbean honoured her as coach of the year in 2007 and in 2009 she was recognized by Special Olympics International with the Exemplary Coach Award – one of 40 coaches worldwide and the only coach from the Caribbean to receive this honor.

In 2011, Ms. McDowall received the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honor for contributing to the community through Special Olympics.

She was 59 years old.

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About the author

Kevin Morales

Kevin Morales

Cayman 27 News Director Kevin Morales is an award-winning journalist with more than 12 years of experience. Kevin is a Milwaukee, Wis., native. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2005 from the University of Minnesota. He's a proud father and a loyal fan of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks and U of M Golden Gophers.

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