Mahalapye — Team Central Special Olympics in track and field events has converged in Mahalapye to prepare for the national meet scheduled for November in Francistown.
National Executive Committee, special Olympics Botswana, Central Region representative, Babilimi Letebele was positive that her team was ready to compete at the national event.
The two-day training session, which started on July 8, will give athletes the opportunity to impress at the national stage, she said.
Giving an overview of the Special Olympics, Letebele said through the games, children with special needs were given an opportunity to partake in sporting activities, which was also beneficial for their well-being.
She said the annual activity gave children with special needs an opportunity to exercise as well as a platform to interact with others.
The athletes will participate in athletics, discus, high jump, long jump and assisted walk.
The top three athletes in both track and field events will represent the region at the national stage.
Meanwhile, Mahalapye Sub-region chief education officer, Marea Dikeme has urged parents, teachers and the community to support children with disabilities to participate in Special Olympics activities.
She said through athletics and other sporting events, children were given a chance to make a living through their talent.
Dikeme noted that Tshotego Morama and Oscar Pistorius were some of the disabled athletes who had made positive lifestyles through sport. She added that their journey started with the Special Olympic Games.
She said the Ministry of Basic Education catered for all children despite their intellectual capability, adding that although government was doing a lot in providing for children with special needs, they were not well catered for and encountered challenges. She appealed for a conducive environment for all.
Giving a keynote address, Bernard Bolele said the occasion gave athletes joy, courage, determination and a moment to accept who they were.
With support from parents, teachers and the public, Bolele said he believed the athletes could win medals for the nation.
He urged the athletes to prove that despite their intellectual disability, they were able to inspire many with their sporting abilities.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>