Mumbai: The Special Olympics Bharat athletes on Friday left for the Special Olympics World Summer Games to be held in Berlin, Germany from June 17-25.
The send-off ceremony for the athletes was held at the Conference Hall, Raj Bhavan here and it was graced by Ramesh Bais, the Governor of Maharashtra. He extended his best wishes to 13 athletes, 1 unified partner and 5 coaches who will be participating in the games from Maharashtra.
The ceremony was attended by several distinguished guests including Mangal Prabhat Lodha, Minister of Tourism, Skill development & entrepreneurship, Government of Maharashtra, Mrs Mallika Nadda, Chairperson, Special Olympics Bharat and others.
“I wish my best to all the athletes travelling from India to the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Berlin and pray for their imminent success at the prestigious event. I am confident that our athletes will earn numerous plaudits for India across Basketball, Football, Handball, Swimming, Tennis, Table-Tennis and Roller-Skating and will make the nation proud,” said Ramesh Bais, Governor of Maharashtra.
“Special Olympics is more than just sports for these athletes. Special Olympics are means of providing health, education, and leadership skills to these special individuals. I wish to request Shri Mangal Prabhat Lodha to allot 2 percent of total vacancies for persons with disabilities,” he added.
Commenting on the occasion, Dr Mallika Nadda, Chairperson, SO Bharat said,” Special Olympics is separate from Paralympics. I would like all of us to be mindful of the difference. Today we can all see that the Athletes of SO Bharat have a desire to bring glory to the nation. They are Athletes with Intellectual Disabilities but have hope and determination to win.
We have assembled here to recognise and honour them. As we do so let us join hands in opening opportunities of employment for them, enabling them to contribute meaningfully in the society that they are so much a part of. I trust that you all join me in extending best wishes to the Special Olympics Bharat Champions.”
SO World Summer Games 2023, Berlin Germany
From June 17-25 2023, Berlin, Germany will welcome 7,000 Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners from approximately 190 countries to compete in 26 sports. The athletes will be supported by more than 3,000 coaches and 20,000 volunteers. 198 athletes and partners and 57 coaches are gearing up from India to participate in 16 Sports
The Special Olympics World Games offer the opportunity to unite the world like no other event can. People with and without disabilities, people of different nations, cultures, political views, and religions meet and can overcome existing prejudices through the power of sport.