A special athlete tries his hand at bocce at DBMS Girls’ High School, Kadma, on Saturday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
Jamshedpur, Sept. 21: The steel city today paid tribute to Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics and sister of former US president John F. Kennedy, through a unified sports event organised at DBMS Girls’ High School in Kadma.
As many as 500 students spent time with special athletes and joined them in a game of bocce. The special athletes, on their part, enjoyed every moment of the match. They wanted the game to stretch longer but rain played spoilsport.
Representatives from the Jharkhand unit of Special Olympics Bharat attended the two-hour event. Area director Bailey Bodhanwala, treasurer Satbir Singh Sahota and coach Awtar Singh were also present.
Organising outfit Jeevika’s secretary Sukhdeep Kaur, DBMS Girls’ High School president Kamla Subramanium, principal Krishnakali Mandal, secretary A. Subramanium and other teachers were also present on the occasion.
Speaking at the event, Bodhanwala said society had a responsibility towards those with disabilities and all possible help should be extended to them. “Unified sports helps in understanding special athletes better,” he added.
Jeevika secretary Sukhdeep Kaur shed light on Shriver’s contribution in uplifting the specially-abled. “We remember Shriver every year for her immense role in making the specially abled more acceptable to society. We organise unified sports events to involve school students with special athletes so that they understand their problems as well as their skills, “ she added.
Students present at the event said they had a good time with the special athletes. “ They looked so happy and jovial. I really enjoyed the match,” said Shika Kumari, a pupil at the event.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver believed that if people with intellectual disabilities were given equal opportunities as everyone else, they could accomplish a lot.
In 1962 she hosted a summer camp in her backyard for youths with intellectual disabilities and called it Camp Shriver.
Later, she went on to set up Special Olympics.