Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

25 January 2013

Namibians Leave for Special Olympics World Winter Games 2013

Every four years, thousands of Special Olympics athletes worldwide come together to demonstrate their athletic skills and their unique ability. This is the foundation for the spirit of the Special Olympics. Alternating between Summer Games and Winter Games, Special Olympics World Games bring public attention to the talents and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities, helping to change attitudes and break down barriers that excluded them from mainstream athletics.

The next Special Olympics World Winter Games are scheduled to take place in Pyeong Yang, South Korea, from 29 January to 5 February. The Winter Games will feature world-class competition in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, figure skating, snowboarding, speed skating, and floor hockey among other sports.

Special Olympics Namibia will be sending a delegation, which will include the Global Youth Activation Team, the Clinical Director for Special Olympics Namibia, the Global Family Leader and the Global Messenger with his mentor.

The games start with an opening ceremony which will take place on 29 January, which will be followed by traditional Special Olympics events which will include a Healthy Athletes Programme. This programme is designed to provide medical screening and assistance to athletes to ensure that they maintain their best possible health and perform at their best. The care is provided by a team of healthcare specialists and volunteers who are on standby for the duration of the event.

Dr. Moloi who is the Clinical Director for Special Olympics Namibia and also a Regional Clinical Advisor for Special Olympics Africa, will be part of the team and an international volunteer in the Special Smiles Programme- a dental screening programme.

The Global Youth Summit will be held concurrently to the games. It will bring together approximately 100 young athletes from 22 countries across the world, who are committed to make a difference and promote social inclusion through the power of sports in their schools and communities. The youth will be engaged in different activities and discussions under the theme, "EDUCATE, MOTIVATE and ACTIVATE".

Namibia will be represented by Elvira Goagoses- an athelete with intellectual disability and Josephine Amutenya- a partner without intellectual disabilities. The team will be under the guidance of Emma Werner as a chaperone. These young women also recently attended the African Youth Summit in Rustenburg, South Africa, as part of the Africa Unity Cup 2012.

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