Yes They Too Can Shine! Special Students of 15 Institutions Unleash Sports Talents at Agno 50 Kreedostava 2020

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Yes They Too Can Shine! Special Students of 15 Institutions Unleash Sports Talents at Agno 50 Kreedostava 2020

Mangaluru: Special Sports for Special Persons 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 Sports for Special Children and adults (aka Differently-abled) 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. Families are the true champions of Special Sporting Events 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 who were 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 !

And all of this happened at the “AGNO -50 Kreedostava 2020- a Sports Event organized by St Agnes Special School, Bendore-Mangaluru in association with Lions Club of Valencia-Mangaluru, on Thursday, 6 February 2020 at Mangala Stadium. Differently-abled students from 15 institutions from Mangaluru, DK, Karkala, Moodabidri, Udupi and other places converged at the venue with full enthusiasm and determination to unleash their hidden sporting talents and bring name and fame to their institution. The inaugural ceremony of Agno 50 Kreedostava 2020 began with a colourful march past, where Special students from 15 institutions marched in their best moves, and the dignitaries for the occasion took the guard of honour, followed by hoisting the event flag.

The dignitaries for the event were- Ms Gayathri N Nayak KAS – Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) as Chief Guest, joined by M P Shenoy- Senior Advocate, Mangaluru; Dr Kishore Kumar- Sports Director, Mangalore University; Usman A- Deputy Directoe-Women & Child Welfare Dept; Sr Maria Shubha AC- Secretary, Apostolic Carmel Educational Society-Karnataka; Ln Govardhan Shetty-Chief District Coordinator-Governors Programme; Ln Leslie D’souza- President, Lions Club Valencia; Sr Maria Shruthi AC- Principal, St Agnes Special School (SASS) ; Narayana Sherigar- Convenor and Physical Director of SASS; Ms Irene Pinto- President, PTA of SASS; Sr Maria Anita AC- Joint Secretary of SASS; Maria Jyothi AC- Founder Principal of SASS; Ln Oswald D’cunha and Ln Lawrence Serrao- Secretary and Treasurer of Lions Club Valencia respectively; among others.

Following a prayer song by students of SASS, and welcome address by Ln Leslie D’souza and briefing about Agno 50 Kreedostava 2020, the programme the event was inaugurated by lighting of the lamp by the chief guest along with other dignitaries on the dais. In her inaugural address Ms Gayathri Nayak 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. We need to respect, care and love these differently-abled students like everyone, without any discrimination. My sincere compliments to Sr Maria Jyothi AC for her initiative in starting SASS, which has from five students has grown to nearly 300 students at SASS. My humble request to everyone, please don’t neglect the differently-abled persons, instead care, love and respect them equally like normal people”.

Other dignitaries namely Usman A, Ln Govardhan Shetty and Dr Kishore Kumar also spoke and complimented SASS for their efforts in taking care of these disabled students, and by training them to take part in various co-curricular activities, and make them look smart and active like regular people. The Sports event torch was carried by Prajwal Lobo of Sanidhya Special School, Mangaluru who had won medals in World Summer games -2019 held in Abu Dhabi in 2019, and handed over the torch tom the chief guest. The inaugural programme ended with vote of thanks by Narayan Sherigar of SASS, and the programme was compered by Vincent Lobo- a teacher at Captitanio School, Mangaluru.

The valedictory of Agno-50 Kreedostava 2020 was held in the evening, where Sr. Maria Shruthi A.C welcomed the guests.Ms. D.Yamuna District Disabled Welfare Officer, Ln Ronald Gomes District Governor 317 D, Sr. Maria Anita, Joint Secretary St. Agnes Special School Group of institutions; Valerian Lobo – of Lobo Builders; Ln Leslie D’Souza- President Lions Club Valencia; Vinod Kumar- Sports Officer, Mangaluru Taluk , among others were present. They were all welcomed through a shawl.

The final prizes were given away to the winners by Ln Ronald Gomes, where in March Past, the 1st place was bagged by Lions’ Special School Surathkal, and IInd place by Asha Nilaya-Udupi. The relay event was the best of all were children did their level best and the first place was bagged by St. Agnes Special School in both boys and girls teams. Ln Ronald Gomes felicitated them and gave his presidential address. The volunteers and officials were given mementos and certificates for their selfless services for the success of the programme. The lowering of the flag was done and the flag was handed over to Sr. Maria Shruthi AC The programme ended with National Anthem.

The events held during Kreedostava 2020 are-March Fast – Competition; Events for Higher ability and Lower ability; For Higher ability- Track events 100,200 400 mts race; Field Events- Long Jump and Shot put.; Lower ability_ Track events- Track – 25 mts run, 50 mts run, 50 mts walk; Field events- Tennis ball throw, Soft ball throw; Age group- 8-11 boys and girls 12-15, 16-21, 22-29, 30+ An athlete can take part in one field and one track event; and Relay 4×100 Race, among others.

After the event, Sr Maria Shrurthi AC-Principal of St Agnes Special School, Bendore, Mangaluru speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “St. Agnes Special School which was started as the Centenary memorial of The Apostolic Carmel Congregation on 4 August 1970 is celebrating its Golden Jubilee. Sr. Maria Jyothi was the Founder Principal of the School and initiated the project with only FIVE intellectually disabled children, has now grown up to catering 300 children. The school which adopted the motto “In Love we Grow” has become a haven of love and hope. At present , for 300 children on roll in the Golden Year of its establishment “.

“As the first school of this kind in the Districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi, the school helped hundreds of children with disabilities in rehabilitating them in the school programme and those after the age of 18, in the Vocational Training Programme. St ,Agnes Special School (SASS) Mangaluru, educates , taps, and develops the potentialities of these children and youth , both boys and girls, from the age of 3, through the Early intervention, Academic, Pre-Vocational, Vocational, Home-Science and Computer Training Programmes of the campus. Besides, talented students compete in Sports Events at the State, National and International levels under the auspices of Special Olympics. They also take part in the Citizenship programmes of Bharath Scouts and Guides, Cubs and Bulbuls camps”.

“Since our children have excelled in Sports and have represented India in the World Games in various events, and around 12 children have already got the chance to participate in such events, we have chosen sports as one of the 50 activities of our Golden Jubilee year. Therefore we hosted “Agno-50 Kreedostava 2020 in collaboration with Lions Club Valencia, who initiated the sports for differently abled children 25 years ago’ added Sr Shruthi AC..

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