Special Olympics Malawi (SOM) has identified four athletes (two boys and two girls) to represent the country at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in March 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
SOM national director Enid Mauluka, they took advantage of the body’s 50th anniversary celebrations at the Hockey Stadium in Blantyre on Saturday to host inclusive national games that saw intellectual disability athletes Christopher Namakha from the South, Agnes Lekaleka from the Centre along with the North’s Wakhumbata Gondwe and Clara Phiri making the grade. The four competed in the 100m and 200m races.
“We used the 50th anniversary celebrations as a platform to hold national games that were characterised by young athletes demonstrations, athletics, unified matches and a health screening. It has pleased us to announce that the four athletes were impressive and we are confident they will make Malawi proud at the world games,” she said.
On his part, Gondwe said they will do their best to bring medals from the world games.
Mauluka said since the SOM held its inaugural international games in 1968 in Chicago, United States of America (USA), the organisation has over the years been transforming lives of people with intellectual disability through sports, health and education.
“It feels great that the movement has made such tremendous strides that is now talking inclusion; creating an environment whereby people with intellectual disability are given equal opportunities as those without intellectual disability,” she said.
During the anniversary celebrations, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) provided 100 branded golf shirts to the athletes and the body’s spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa said his organisation is supporting the event to reach out to the public with messages about the ongoing voter registration.
“We are in the registration period and we are exploring all available strategies to reach out to the public. The 50 years celebration event by Special Olympics is just one of them,” he said.