The 18th edition of Special Olympics – a sports event for the specially-abled by Junior Chamber International Visakhapatnam (JCI Vizag) witnessed more than 350 children from 14 special schools across Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, and Srikakulam districts.
The sports meet was declared open by the DRM of Waltair Division, Anup Kumar Satpathy (IRTS), the Chief Guest and President of GITAM University, M Sri Bharat, who was the Distinguished Guest on occasion. JC Jeevan Jyothi Volla (ZVP- Region B) was the Guest of Honour, and MD of Ora Motors Krishnakanth was the special invitee for the inauguration of the sports meet organised at Diamond Jubilee Port Stadium here on Sunday. All the dignitaries appreciated the cause for these special children and extended their support.
More than 60 sports events for children were organised in the age groups of 8-12 years, 12-20 years, and above 20 years. Children with visual and hearing impairments, physically disabled, and mentally retarded students participated enthusiastically. A few sports categories include 50m running, 100m running, shotput, Javelin throw, wheelchair race, disc throw, and softball, among the others. The children, escorts, parents, and coaches were given breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
GVMC Commissioner Dr G Lakshmisha was the Chief Guest for the valedictory function of the Special Olympics, which witnessed terrific performances by the special children from schools in and around Visakhapatnam. The special invitees were specially-abled people from Vizag who are an inspiration. Dev Prasad, a visually impaired person; Sai Padma, a polio survivor and Founder President of Global AID; B Pragnanand, a Food innovator and social entrepreneur. Dilip Patro, Founder of The Ability people, and Kavya Purnima, a young woman with a late visual impairment, were present on occasion. Medals were given away to the winners, and participation certificates were given to all the participants.
Stating that all children are unique, but some children are more special, the founder of Special Olympics, Prakash Kochar, said, “The rolling shield in the name of my younger brother Prem Kochar who lost his life in an accident, is also given every year to the school which has done well in all the categories of events.” Kochar added, “We have seen men and women from India making a mark in global sports. We have also seen parasports gaining much importance in India and the world. The need of the hour is to encourage interested children irrespective of their disabilities to take up sports and extend support to encourage them.”
A group of Amateur radio operators (Dolphin Amateur Radio Repeater Club) was set up for Radio Communication in case of emergency services for children on the ground. The band performance was by Kendriya Vidyalaya Waltair, and a few scouts from KV volunteered for the cause.
The food sponsor was Shri Sai Samsthan Charitable Trust. President of JCI Visakhapatnam, Jc S Venkatesh, Secretary Jc V Chaitanya, and other JC members and past presidents were a part of this noble initiative.
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