Rousing welcome for Special Olympic players from Dhofar

SALALAH, MARCH 25 – The Dhofar branch of the Oman Special Olympics Committee on Monday gave a rousing welcome to participants from Dhofar in the 2019 edition of Special Olympics, which was held in Abu Dhabi from March 14 to 21.
Naif Ahmed Said al Shanfari, Chairman of Dhofar branch of the committee, and a large number of dignitaries received the team from Salalah. Al Shanfari termed the participation from Dhofar a milestone for the future events and said a lot needs to be done for the special children, as they are gifted with some rare talents and this is the responsibility of society to make them realise their own strength.
“We had three participants from Dhofar — two were in badminton and one in football. Overall, there were 140 participants from Oman and a good number of 47 medals, including gold, silver and bronze, were clinched by our players,” he said.
The participants from Dhofar were Ayman bin Makas and Said bait Said in badminton and Fawad bait Madith in football.
Al Shanfari exhorted the parents and the community in general to encourage everyone, especially youths with intellectual disabilities to take part in local, national and international events, which are designed to inculcate confidence in them. “Such events give some kind of orientation to society also to accept people with intellectual disabilities with grace and without any discrimination.”
Commenting on Oman’s Special Olympic journey, Al Shanfari said, “Under a ministerial decree of the Ministry of Social Development, the Al Amal Association was formed in 2010 in order to improve the behavioural, motor and professional skills of people with intellectual disabilities, while Oman became part of the global movement of Special Olympics in March 2016.
Yousuf Awadh Nasib bait Saleeam, Chairman of the Sports Committee in Dhofar Governorate and badminton coach for the players who participated in the Special Olympics from Dhofar, expressed satisfaction over the players’ participation in the global event. He called for more participation from Dhofar in coming events.
Bait Saleeam expressed satisfaction over Oman’s overall performance, which improved to 47 in the global event from 39 medals in the MENA region during different rounds.
The parents of the three participants present during the reception expressed gratitude to the authorities for taking care of their children and sending them to the global event.
“They made us realise the strength of our own children,” they said and exhorted the parents of children with intellectual disabilities to encourage their wards to take part in such events.