Special Olympics Samoa concludes disability week
To conclude National Disability Week Special Olympics Samoa hosted a sports day for Savai’i at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (L.D.S.) compound in Safotu.
The Special Olympics Samoa organisation provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of sporting disciplines for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
The organisation’s mission is to give competitors continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in sharing gifts, skills and friendship with their families and competitors.
The event was held last Friday 11 December.
Six community groups representing people with and without intellectual disabilities, volunteers, coaches, and parents gathered at the Safotu compound to participate in a volleyball tournament to cap off the week.
Those present assembled from Faasaleleaga, Palauli, Salega, Asau, Gagaifomauga, and Gagaa`emauga
According to a statement issued by Special Olympics Samoa, the tournament was not about winning but rather the principle outlined in the Special Olympics Oath: "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in my attempt”.
The group advocates for people with disabilities to have access to every opportunity in sports as a tool to be visible and have equal access to opportunities in all aspects of life.
"Athletes, unified partners, coaches and volunteers and parents have the opportunity to participate and enjoy the tournament,” the organisation said in a statement.
“[It] is also a great opportunity in doing more to deliver a work of full inclusion, [raising] the visibility of people with and without intellectual disability through sports at the community level.”
"The Upolu Community Groups also [had] their Sports Fun Day held on the 3rd December at Samusu Primary School Field, for [four] community groups: Aleipata, Lepa and Lotofaga, Falealili and Apia in commemoration of the National Disability Week."
Special Olympics Samoa, acknowledged their donor partners who made the event possible.
The organisation’s supporters include the European Union through the Civil Society Support Program; Digicel Samoa; the Government of Australia and the Government of Samoa; the Samoa Disability Partnership Program and the Ministry of Women and Social Development.