“Pyaari ammi, darna nahi hai, aap ka bacha sab kuch karsakta hai” (Dear mum, don’t be afraid. Your child can do everything). This is the inspiring message LCSS is trying to spread through working with the special needs’ community in Lahore.
Article continues after the advertisement
The annual Special Olympics at LUMS kicked off to a great start this past sunny morning. The event was brilliantly organised by LUMS Community Service Society.
The objective of this special day was to shine the spotlight on an integral but overlooked part of society – children with special needs. Kids from spent the day showcasing their extraordinary abilities. In total participated in Special Olympics 2017.
The day was full of a multitude of events, beginning with the Indoor Olympics which involved two categories: Young Athletes for the age group of 12-17 years and MATP (Motor Activity Training Program) for younger children. For MATP games were played one after another, including pole jump, football free kicks and jump in the hoop, followed by archery, bowling, zigzag walk, tunnel passing and finally table tennis. Every child was awarded a medal for performing to the best of their ability with a determined never-give-up attitude.
The Young Athletes participants played slightly more difficult games that required more mobility. They competed in baseball, basketball shots and table tennis tournaments. Meanwhile, outdoors football matches were being held between the schools in which the volunteering LUMS students also participated.
The activities on this day were meant not just to give special needs’ children the same opportunities that the average child gets, but to encourage greater interaction and integration between the special needs’ community and the rest of society – in this case, specifically, the LUMS community.
As each game came to an end, the participants and volunteers gathered underneath a breezy tent to await the announcement of the winners and award distribution. Majid Khan, former captain of the Pakistan cricket team was present as Chief Guest to hand out the awards.
After distributing the medals, he offered a few simple but moving words of encouragement and inspiration to the participants and volunteers present for being part of such a remarkable event.
The day ended on a high note with everyone present forming a spectacular Human Chain; all participants, teachers and volunteers entwined hands and spiralled into a circle before joining up in the middle to dance with what little energy they had left. With another Special Olympics event successfully completed, LCSS is working harder to provide further opportunities for the overlooked segments of our society, striving to remind us, members of Pakistani society, that our differences shouldn’t divide us – they should bring us together.