By Lim Yong Teck/Red Sports
Orchid Country Club, Sunday, April 13, 2014 — The Community Games is giving Special Olympics athletes more chances to take part in sport.
Reuben Khanal, 15, and Muhd Farhan, 21, are two such athletes. They are who are representing Yio Chu Kang Community Sports Club (CSC) in this year’s edition of the Community Games.
The Special Olympics is a movement providing sports training and personal skill development for the intellectually disabled.
For Reuben, who has Down Syndrome, he started bowling as a regular activity to train his coordination skills. “He loves the sport now. He is still learning, so I try my best to sign him up for bowling events such as charity bowls,” commented 47-year-old Lynda Walter, Reuben’s mother. “It is a pleasant surprise to know that the community where he is staying at is bonding with him.”
For Lynda, attending training sessions together with Reuben has helped her to know him better, and at the same time, helped her better comprehend his behavioural patterns. Lynda, a single parent, makes it a point to support Reuben at his bowling games. “I am extremely proud of him. He always gives me a kiss and thanks me when he enjoys his bowling events,” added the proud mother.
For Farhan, this will be his second Community Games. The 21-year-old has been playing the sport since he was 15. “For me, I will just treat it as a normal game, not care about what people are saying about me, and just relax.”
“The Community Games provide them with more opportunities to play with others and compete in such tournaments. It brings down the barriers that people have towards athletes with intellectual disabilities. People get surprised when they do very well, creating a sense of public awareness. This allows them to make new friends as well,” commented 23-year-old Mohd Fadyl, who is a full-time Special Olympics staff.
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