Naga heroes return with medals from ‘Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games’
DIMAPUR, DECEMBER 11
THE special athletes of Special Olympics Nagaland (SON) after participating at the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games (SOAPG) 2013 held in Australia have returned with several awards.
The games were organized for the first time for the disabled people.More than 2500 special athletes took part in various competitions where from 21 states, 380 special athletes took part from India.
Assam and Nagaland were the only two North Eastern states that took part in the game.
Four special athletes form Nagaland put their best foot forward when they underwent various training programmes held at Chennai and Hyderabad as part of ‘preparatory games’ before qualifying to participate in the SOAPG. Their participation by going through various hurdles and hard work has made our state proud in a very different way which can never be measured.
The four special athletes representing SON was led by Coach Imliwati Lemtur
SON, an NGO group began their journey in 2009 to empower people with disabilities. The NGO has brought laurels to the state without any financial help from the government. During the National Games for the Disabled held in the year 2011, SON also won 18 medals, which included 6 gold, 8 silver and 4 bronze medals. Also in the year 2012 SON bagged 10 medals, which included 6 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals. SON with the special athletes were also part of the Indian team during the FIFA Global Cup, Bangkok which was held from June 15 to 22, 2013.
Tarep, SDO Civil during the press conference stated that, SON has achieved so much in such a short time since its estimation in 2009. Tarep who was touched by the special athletes’ hard work and devotion expressed that, ‘Nagas with so much potential are hiding away while such special brothers have travelled long and far under so much pressure and hurdles just to make our state ender into a record’. He also cited that such children are more talented as they always focus on what they want without letting anything come their way.
Arenla, Area director also during the conference gave confidence all the disabled children to come forward in order to expose their talents in various activities and games.
SON whose motive is to explore the talents of the disabled encouraged all the people living under disability to come out of their shell of fear and set examples to the world. SON also highlighted that parents should not be ashamed of their children and should not be disheartened in anyway.
The SON now has reached to districts like Wokha, Kohima, Dimapur, Tuensang and Dimapur.
Coach Imliwati who was overwhelmed to see more than 3000 volunteers who are all more than 50 years of age stated that we Nagas should also start adapting such ideas and set examples to other parts of the Nation. He also drew his attention towards how such elderly people were taking care of the special athletes for days and nights with their full devotion.
The four participants at the SOAPG from Nagaland where Sanglikum Chang who ranked 4th and 5th position in 100 m and 200 m race, Mhachio Ngullie who ranked 7th and 8th in 100m and 200 m race, Bhupender Sharma who received a gold medal in long jump and 4th in 100 m race and Chiilizhi who received a silver medal for shot-put and 7th in 100m race. Chiilizhi during the press conference on behalf of group members quoted that, “By God’s mercy we have played well and returned safely”.
Though our state has reached an international level in regard to special children in sports and games, sadly only moral support has been rendered by the state govt. towards the Special athletes. SON who is now trying to get recognition under the Nagaland Olympics Association (NOA), said they have approached the Youth Resource Department for support but due to lack of fund flow no financial assistance was forthcoming promises for the future has been guaranteed. SON positively stated that they are hopeful that one day the state government will discover their hard work delivered towards strengthening the ability of challenged children in a broader way.
The SON in these four years of working as an NGO has always worked in fulfilling their objective of helping the disabled and exploring their talents but yet no help has been provided by the state.