Special Kids and Adults Shine at ‘Special Olympics’
7th Global Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day and State Level Championships 2016 was organized by Special Olympics Bharat- Karnataka at Mangala stadium, where students from as many as eight districts took part in the Olympics, exclusively for Specially abled Kids and adults.
Mangaluru: Special Olympics is not about “them.” It’s about all of “us”. It takes all of us — athletes, volunteers, families, sponsors, coaches, the general public — who are willing to open our minds and hearts and accept people with intellectual disabilities, to help them unleash their sporting talents. We should note that Special Olympics is no longer just an event- it is a movement, inviting the world not just to attend Games but to think, feel, and act differently about everything – to come help create a world of acceptance and inclusion for all. And Special Olympics is not “nice.” It is “important.” Families are the true champions of Special Olympics and their challenges of raising a special needs child. And the teachers and parents by their sides, these children and adults with disabilities seemed very happy, enthusiastic and eagerly waiting to win in the sports at Mangala Stadium.
Through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success. These special athletes find joy, confidence and fulfillment — on the playing field and in life. They also inspire people in their communities and elsewhere to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential. With training and competitions in Olympic-style sports, these athletes push hard and play harder. They strive to beat their personal bests, defying the odds again and again. From the local sports fields to the shining stage of State, National, and World Games, these special athletes showcase the talents and triumphs of people with intellectual disabilities. The hundreds of athletes with disabilities proved that they too can shine like other regular people- and they did !
Prior to the sports activities at Mangala Stadium, a Torch Run from MCC Entrance commenced at 9 am, where Harinath Honorable Mayor lit the torch and Dr. K G Jagadeesha, I. A .S. Deputy Commissioner Flagged off the Run. This sporting event as the Selection for National Sports meet which will be held at Jaipur in the month of October. During the inauguration of the Special Olympic Bharath (SOB)-Karnataka, Ivan D’Souza- Congress Legislative Council Whip said, “It is a different experience for the reason that the disabled students are taking part in a sports meet that was once considered the preserve of physically fit. They are also equally abled when compared to others”. MLA JR Lobo who also graced the Olympics was happy to note that DK stands as a model for other districts in the field of projects related to empowerment of specially abled.
Disabled students from as many as eight districts namely DK, Udupi, Mysuru, Shivamogga, Gadag, Ballari, Dharwad and Davangere participated in the Special Olympics. SOB-K will select 24 Athletes (14+ 10) for the Nationals. The National committee will select the athletes who will take part in the World summer Games 2019. The competition here was held in two different groups, Lower and Higher ability.
Special Olympics provides year-round Sports Training and Athletic Competition in a variety of Olympic –type Sports for children and adults with Mental Retardation, Autism, Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Disabilities by giving them opportunities to develop their physical fitness, demonstrate sportive courage, experience joy and participate in sharing of gifts and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics Athletes and community. Special Olympics believes that consistent training is essential for the development among those of equal abilities is the most appropriate means of testing these skills, measuring progress and providing incentives for personal growth .
Special Olympics is organizing State Level Sports all over Karnataka in various categories for Selection into the National Coaching Camps for the World Games to be held in 2019 in Australia. The Special Athletes have also shown their Sports Talents in the National level Competitions. Basketball and Volley Ball State selection Championships were held in MAHE University, Manipal in the month of July 2016. Our Basketball women’s team of Special Athletes from Karnataka won Silver Medal in Chennai National Level competition. Shuttle Badminton and Bocce State selection Championships were held in Bangalore in July 2016. Bocce Men’s team of Special Athletes from Karnataka got silver Medal in August in Patna. National State Competitions Shuttle Badminton which was held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala of which Our Special Athletes from Karnataka bagged 3 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze .( Krishna 2 Gold’s, Anand 1 Gold, Yashmitha / Shristhi 2 Silver, Yashmitha 1 Bronze) Softball and Hand Ball for Men and Women respectively State selection Championships were held in Mandya in August.
National Championships Softball for Men will be held in Odisha from 24th to 29th Sept 2016 for which our team of 14 Special Athletes and Coaches are participating. In association with SOB-K, Tamanna Special School & JSW Foundation jointly organized State level Aquatics and Football Selection Championships in Bellary on 23rd and 24th Aug 2016 at JSW Campus. 4 Men and 4 Women along with Escorts will take part in the National Aquatics competition to be held at Andheri, Mumbai from 18th to 24th Sept 2016. During the month of September, 7th Global Eunice Kennedy Shriver (EKS) Day is celebrated all over the World. Therefore, Special Olympics Bharat – Karnataka celebrated EKS Day on 17th Sept. at Mangala Stadium, Mangaluru from 10 am onwards.