Talent hunt for Special Olympics held

November 3, 2012

Bibi Fatema was running at her utmost pace to clinch the title in the 200-metre race at BKSP, Chittagong Regional Centre premises yesterday. From the outside, it was hard to tell that this 18-year-old girl was mentally challenged, for the sheer desire and the effort she put in. And she was not alone, she was one of many intellectually-challenged children and adults who congregated at the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan (BKSP) premises in Chittagong to participate in the talent hunt programme of Special Olympics, Bangladesh which was sponsored by telecom operator Grameenphone.
The Olympics featured around 40 events including football, cricket, long jump, swimming, badminton, table tennis and bocce and athletes from renowned institutions and non government organisations (NGO) like from all over Chittagong and Sylhet division took part.
Internationally famed, well acclaimed and biggest sports organisation Special Olympics, which has 170 member countries in the world, provides year round training and competition to the children with mental disabilities.
The Special Olympics, which started its activities in Bangladesh in 1995, has delivered the country with 35 gold and 16 silver medals in World Special Olympic games held at Athens in Greece in 2011, informed the organisers.
Faruqul Islam, National Director of Special Olympics, Bangladesh told The Daily Star that in Bangladesh three persons in every 100 people are mentally challenged. The boys or girls with mental disability cannot perform their daily activities as general people can, because of their lower IQ. But they have ability to show their performance in games.
When asked about the idea of the competition, Faruqul said, it is possible to connect these children and adults with sports activities which inspire them very much, though they have limitation to continue their study or activities like other normal children or adults.
Mohammad Moslem, President of Special Olympic, Chittagong Chapter told The Daily Star that the selected talents will be prepared for competing in upcoming world Special Olympic competition where they have opportunity to show their skills and prove that “they are also the human being with different form of skills”.
In the afternoon, a prize giving ceremony was held where Chittagong Press Club President Abu Sufian, National Special Olympics vice chairmen Abu Taher Bhuyan, Jahurul Islam Mamun, Grameenphone Chittagong Division Chief Ashraful Kabir were present.

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