Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games
The first Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games at Australia was a success. The event was opened by the H.E Quentin Bryce. Athletes from the 29 Asia Pacific regions participated in 9 sports (swimming, bowling, table tennis, football, cricket, badminton, bocce and basketball). There were about 2500 mentally challenged athletes who joined the Special Olympics held at Hunter Stadium from December 2-7, 2013.
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On December 6, 2013 Prime Minister Lee congratulated the team for bagging 5 gold, 2 silver and 8 bronze. He said that the team trained so hard and that they deserve the full attention and support of Singaporeans. Prime Minister Lee is also positive that other teams to join the seventh ASEAN Para Games and twenty seventh SEA Games will be successful as well.
Even the mentally challenged individuals can excel in sports. Here are some benefits that they can get from playing:
1. Sports can help their socialization
Sports can be a venue for socialization. Mentally challenged people are sometimes having difficulties establishing relationship but with the help of sports, they will learn how to work well with the team and fellow athletes. Sports will ensure constructive interactions with their trainers and coaches. Sports can present opportunity to create new friendships.
2. Sports can help their self esteem
Sports can help mentally challenged people with their self esteem. High self esteem will likely result to positive behaviours. Self esteem for mentally challenged persons refer to the confidence that despite their shortcomings, they can still do something so their loved ones can be proud of them. Their self-respect never wane out.
3. Sports can make them healthy
There is no doubt that sports can make them healthy. Sports can promote a healthy and active lifestyle. Maintaining the ideal body weight is difficult but sports make it more fun and easier. Many people die today of heart-related problems. Sports can make the life of mentally challenged people better. They should go out and enjoy the world.
4. Sports can help them set their goals
Mentally challenged people can use sports to help them with their goal setting. This is not pushing beyond their limitations. Sports will serve as their inspiration to achieve a goal or something in their life. Sports will demonstrate the significance of establishing goals and working to get it. This will surely improve the state of the mentally challenged people.
The government is supporting these people because it sees potential. Let us rise above the social stigma associated with mentally challenged people and give them a chance to be a part of our society. They have a difficult life so we should be more compassionate and understanding. Congratulations to the athletes!