Apia wins inaugural disability cricket trophy

A team from the Apia community has won the inaugural cricket disability competition trophy at the Tuanaimato cricket field.

The cricket disability competition coordinator, Pativia Mika Solomua, told the Samoa Observer on Thursday that the competition was an opportunity for those living with a disability to have fun, and be able to join sporting activities with people from other villages and communities.

"This is a great opportunity for them to meet other people and make friends, we have different events to cater to their needs,” she said. 

“These are what we called clinics, but for them, they call this 'mini-games competition'. We are doing this in partnership with the Special Olympics and the Ministry of Health too.”

Solomua added that it was their hope that their participation in the competitions gave their self confidence a boost.

"We have our bare cricket on these two fields and for those who cannot play cricket, they will be having their fun games on this side. We hope that these competitions can help them in setting their self-esteem high.”

The competition attracted six teams: three from Loto Taumafai School and one each from Senese, Aleipata, Apia and Siumu.

Loto Taumafai School teacher, Vaiana Otto, said the Samoa International Cricket Association-organised event was a blessing in disguise for the school as their students now have a new mindset and can participate in whatever sports they want.

"I just want to thank everyone who took part in making this competition a reality, this is a good break for the kids to be away from the classroom and their usual routine each day to come out and enjoy a bit of sunshine for half-a-day or so,” she said in an interview. 

“It is heartwarming to see them smiling, enjoying themselves and having the best time of their lives.

"Working with them for so long, and I've watched some of them grow and go out and work in the field brings joy to my heart. 

“We are grateful for this opportunity to participate in events, they get the chance to communicate with other people from other communities and they really get along well.”

Appealing to parents with children who are living with disability to change their attitude, she claimed that there is a perception among parents that their children are a curse to the family.

"I know some parents have this mentality that if they have a child born with a disability, they say it is a curse which one of the parents was unfaithful or whatsoever,” she added. 

“But what they are forgetting is that this is God's way of telling the world that he works in mysterious ways and please the Loto Taumafai School's doors are wide open for your child.”

The cricket ground at Tuanaimato had a crowd of people who witnessed the cricket competition with the organisers indicating that it will now become an annual event.

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