Increased participation in second special athletic meet
DPI, GUYANA, Friday, October 20, 2017
The second Special School Athletic meet on Friday, showcased the abilities of students from eleven schools out of Linden, Berbice, and Georgetown, at the Guyana Defense Force’s ground, Camp Ayanganna.
This event aims to lend support to the many special needs schools that find it difficult to host recreational activities, as well to identify potential para-athletes.
In brief remarks, Director of Sport, Christopher Jones, on the behalf of Minister of Social Cohesion with responsibility for Sport Dr. George Norton noted that the children’s participation is a testimony of the government’s promise of inclusion for all, in sports.
“As we (government) mention to you (public) last year that the National Sports Commission (NSC) and by extension the Ministry of Social Cohesion, take very serious, the important role, task and responsibility as the department of sport and that is to ensure there is equal access to everything as it relates to sports,” Jones explained. He said that this year, medals are only given out to focus on the individual athletes’ event develops.
It was highlighted that swimming and bocce cycle racing will be included in next year’s event. The Sport Director also encouraged the participants to not only enjoy themselves whilst competing but to create friendships.
Tishon Rodney, a teacher of the Wismar Visually Impaired Unit told the Department of Public Information (DPI) in an interview said that “it is an honor to have persons with disability being able to take part in sports and I feel very honored that my students and other schools are able to participate.”
Marcia Smith, Principal of Gifted Hands Learning for Children Special Needs, said that she, “feels special not only for myself but for my students, not because the child has disability but every child has a right to participate in whatever life offers”. She noted that being a part of the sports is also considered an honor, despite her educational institution is a privately owned.
Some of the students participating in the events expressed excitement at being afforded the opportunity to compete with others like themselves.
Last year, ten schools participated in the country’s first ever sports for Special Needs Schools with forty-six events including sprints, middle and long-distance events.
By: Neola Damon