Special Olympics President visits

Special Olympics President, Simon Koh, is in the country to discuss plans for Samoa to host the first Pacific Forum for Special Olympics.

Mr. Koh told the Samoa Observer he is to meet with Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.

They will discuss the potential of Samoa hosting a Pacific Forum, which would provide a platform for Special Olympics athletes and programme leaders around the Pacific region, to discuss various issues and challenges that they face.

“We want to give them an opportunity in life to come together, where they can congregate and integrate with each other, talk about things that matter most to them - it will be a sharing and learning process," he said.

“I am here to find out whether there is any gap with whatever they do and how we can help to either motivate to support by way of training or by way of funding support to help them,” he said.

Mr. Koh said their other goal is to reach out to more people with intellectual disabilities to increase their numbers.

“We look forward to our meeting with the Prime Minister, especially so he can share his thoughts about our various plans and initiatives we hope to launch in Samoa.

“There are 34 countries in our Asia Pacific region and it has been growing significantly and right now,” he said.

Mr. Koh added that the number of athletes in the region has grown significantly from 1,732,855 two years ago to 1,955,646 last year. 

Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities — giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing gifts, skills and friendship with their families — other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

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