Executive Director for Special Olympics Caribbean Initiative | Jamaica
Lorna Josephine Bell, O.D. has dedicated her life to service and sports, especially for people with intellectual disabilities. She is the Executive Director for Special Olympics Caribbean Initiative, which provides opportunities across 20 programs in the Caribbean for athletes with intellectual disabilities to develop physical fitness, social skills, and self-esteem through sports. Prior to, and since joining Special Olympics Jamaica (SOJ) in 2002, her passion for sports development and supporting some of Jamaica’s most vulnerable population has been tireless, persistent, and relentless. Her path to SOJ came by way of a slew of experiences at organizations that essentially, fine-tuned her natural disposition for service. From grassroots organizations and causes such as multiple Youth Clubs, Mustard Seed Communities (abandoned and special needs youths and adults), Dare to Care (youths with HIV/AIDS), Augusta Women’s Prison (expectant mother’s program), Key Club, Alpha Academy Alumnae Association, and the Kiwanis Club, to corporate institutions such as Bryden & Evelyn law firm, and CitiBank, Mrs. Bell was further groomed to both serve and lead. She was also the General Secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation when the Reggae Boyz went to the 1998 World Cup in France.
Mrs. Bell has always been a super fan of sports and would meet, marry and create a family with the Football Foundation legend Winthorpe “Jackie” Bell, manager to the development of the Jamaican football landscape. Working with her husband in the 1970s gave her exposure into the sports administration world and opened countless doors. After Jackie Bell’s passing, Mrs. Bell continued to honor his legacy by supporting football development and giving her full support to the Clive Campbell led Bell/Ziadie Memorial competition, which commemorates Jackie Bell and another coach, Dennis Ziadie.
She has received several awards and recognitions for her outstanding contribution to sports and the community, such as the Kiwanis Club of New Kingston plaque and citation, Order of Distinction for Service to Jamaica, and the Aruna Oswal Trust Lions Club International Foundation partnership. She is a native of Kingston, Jamaica and a former student of the Covent of Mercy Academy Alpha.