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March 31, 2014 | Africa: Malawi

Unified Football Match official opener for Disability Forum.

By Mr Peter Mazunda

The Special Olympics Malawi Unified® Football Invitational took place on the 09th of February at the CIVO Stadium in Lilongwe. This match was aimed at building awareness around the issue of intellectual disability in Malawi and to challenge preconceived notions of the abilities of people with an Intellectual Disability. The attendance was approximately 5 000 people; Special Olympics delegates, government officials and the general public at large. The Invitational was attended by high level delegations which included the Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, The First Gentleman of the Republic of Malawi, The Minister of Sports, The Minister of Disability, the Chairman of Special Olympics International, Dr Timothy P. Shriver and other highly recognized delegates. The match saw South African Soccer greats Mark Fish, Phil Masinga and Desiree Ellis alongside on their Malawian counterparts Ernest Mtawali, MacDonald Yobe, James Sangala, Hellings Mwakasungula, Fischer Kondowe, Lawrence Waya and Peter Mponda. The soccer greats teamed up with local Special Olympics athletes, Government officials and SO stakeholders in a closely contested match that provided an amazing display of the power of unity. When it came to ability on the field spectators were unable to differentiate between the Special Olympics athletes and others. The cheering spectators where further entertained by outstanding performances by renowned Malawian musicians, Lulu, Pixie, Sally Nyundo and the Black Missionaries.

About Mr Peter Mazunda : Special Olympics Malawi National Director
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