Port Blair, Oct. 5: The Andaman Nicobar Chapter of Special Olympics Bharat initiated for the first time a great effort for rehabilitative joyful sports therapy for intellectually challenged people of this islands by arranging a State level competition from 30th September 2012 to 2nd October 2012. More than 170 athletes from all the 9 zones of Andaman and Nicobar islands participated. With this special Olympics Bharat -Andaman & Nicobar will be the 33rd programme affiliated to the mother body-Special Olympics Bharat.

The event was organized with great enthusiasm by the newly formed committee with   Dr. R Devadas    as patron, Smti Rekha Bhasker as President, Shri.V. Ranjith Kumar as Area President /Secretary General, Smt.Kamal Jugpal and Shri. Abhijhit Agarwal as Vice President besides several others important members from all walks of the society. The entire event achieved its success due to the great support received from the Department of Education, Sports and Youth Affairs, Shipping, Transport, Social Welfare, Health and ANIDCO.

In the inaugural function on 1st October 2012, the Chief Guest Shri. Anand  Prakash , Chief Secretary, Andaman Nicobar  Administration declared the meet open and appreciated the efforts of SOB in organizing  such events for the intellectually challenged, encouraging them, showcasing their potential talents and providing them opportunity to participate at the National Levels. The inaugural ceremony was also graced by Shri. Theva Neethi Dhas, Secretary (Education) and Smti. Ratna Kannan, Chairperson State Social Welfare Board.

Shri. Victor Vaz,  National Sports Director, SOB, New Delhi appreciated the first time efforts in organizing such an event and termed it as  a great achievement in the direction of selection of such special people for participation at national levels.

Vaz  also the regional trainer, Asia Pacific and Shri. Avtar Singh, Regional Trainer (South &  West), SOB  were the Resource persons  for  Athlete E vents and BOCCE  respectively and they trained the 65 coaches /volunteers in planning and conducting such special events. The trainees exhibited great sincerity and progress in conducting the event taking full advantage of the practical sessions spread over the event.

In his address, the patron, SOB, A&N Dr. Devdas expressed that time has come now for our athletes to represent   the country in the days to come for the world level competitions. The chief guest for the concluding ceremony  Shri .SB Deol, DGP A&N Islands praised this great endeavor of  SOB and gave away the prizes /medals  before declaring the meet closed.

Shri.  Avtar Singh, who has been in this field for the past more than 2 decades said that sports and games are the best means for special athletes to merge in the main stream of society as compared to other therapies.

People from all walks of life came to be a part of this great humanitarian initiative and were greatly sensitized for the noble cause but the ultimate achievement was evident in the radiant smiles and infused self-confidence of the special minds for whom this would remain as a cherished moment for a long time to come.