Home Intellectual disabilities Special Olympics Nigeria hosts championship, fun day for PWID

Special Olympics Nigeria hosts championship, fun day for PWID

by Inclusive News Network
Published: Last Updated on

Special Olympics Nigeria (SO Nigeria) celebrated individuals with and without intellectual disabilities through its Unified Champion School (UCS) program platform. The platform facilitated a one-day event titled “Unified Sports Competition and Fun Day” in Ogun and Lagos states on May 10 and June 1 respectively.

These events marked the successful implementation of the UCS program in both states. Participants included athletes {persons with intellectual disabilities (PWID)}, unified partners (persons without intellectual disabilities), family members, and state educators.

In Ogun State, the event took place at St. Peter’s College Olomore’s modern sports complex. Unified teams comprising persons with and without intellectual disabilities competed in football and volleyball. In the football semifinals, four teams—Fun, Happy, Laughter, and Joy—competed. Team Laughter secured first place, with Team Joy coming second, Team Fun third, and Team Happy fourth. In volleyball, Team Wura triumphed over Team Base.

In Lagos State, the event was hosted at the National Sports Institute (NIS) sports complex within the National Stadium Surulere. Participants engaged in football and basketball competitions. Four teams—Akamu, Amala, Moimoi, and Gbegiri—competed fiercely. Team Moimoi won gold in football, with Team Gbegiri taking silver, and Teams Akamu and Amala securing bronze and fourth place, respectively. In basketball, Team Amala won gold, Team Moimoi took silver, and Teams Gbegiri and Akamu earned bronze and fourth place, respectively.

All athletes received medals at the end of the competitions. The event also featured various entertaining activities, including a mothers’ and children dance competition, an egg race, and a bouncing castle.

A notable highlight was the attendance of Ms. Brittany Orange, the United States Political Officer to the US Consulate in Nigeria who received a resounding applause and delivered a speech expressing her love for sports and its role in promoting teamwork, discipline, collaboration, and inclusion.

Ms. Orange emphasized the United States’ commitment to supporting initiatives that promote equality and inclusion worldwide. She also participated in a pre-match handshake with the athletes and performed the traditional kickoff for both football and basketball games.

The Special Olympics Unified Champion School program is a transformative initiative that aims to engage youth, involve educators, and create inclusive school communities by uniting students with and without intellectual disabilities. The program promotes social inclusion through three interconnected components: Special Olympics Unified Sports®, inclusive youth leadership, and whole-school engagement. Launched in January 2023, the UCS program is active in five schools in Ogun State and over 20 schools in Lagos State, impacting 2,216 participants. The program is funded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the U.A.E., Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces, whose generosity fosters a world of inclusion and acceptance for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

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