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August 29, 2013 | Asia Pacific: Sri Lanka

Miracle of Special Olympics

By Hemachandra Sellahewa

On 16th of November 1992 the birth of a girl gave greater happiness to our family. She was named Hiruni. 

She was late in her activities as an infant such as crawling, laughing and walking. She was under the treatments of a physiotherapist in order to improve her activities. At the age of 9 years, she was sent to the special education unit at the school to give her special care about her speaking and other abilities. 

As time passes, in 2006 we were informed about some sports activities by an organization called Special Olympics. We sent her to the training programmes conducted by them. Special Olympics conducted a sports festival in our city in 2006 she participated and won a gold medal. That time we got to know that there was some sort of energy in my daughter, not in her thinking ability but physically. Special Olympics selected my daughter for badminton and she began to practice badminton. Through her practice we realized that she has a great ability in badminton. 

Around that period we got some knowledge about Special Olympics such as its aims, who can take part in Special Olympics. Life lies in motion and the luck lies in courage. Now my daughter has achieved a lot through training and doing activities. 

In 2011 she was selected to participate in Special Olympics World Games in Greece. There she won a Gold medal in girl’s single event. It was a golden happiness to our family, to her school, to our village and to our motherland, Sri Lanka. This prize is very valuable to us and now she is beyond our wealth.

So, I invite all the parents of intellectually disabled people, to join hands with Special Olympics. Because, through Special Olympics parents can try their best to support and help their children with intellectual disabilities to participate in the society rather than leaving them alone. My heartiest gratitude goes to the pioneers of this concept who provided such a big opportunity to people with intellectual disabilities in all around the world to show their power.

About Hemachandra Sellahewa: Am Hemachandra Sellahewa from Matara, South of Sri Lanka, A father of 3 daughters one of whom is a special child. Also the president of Family support network of special Olympics in Matara District and the Coordinator of Special Olympics sub Programme Matara District.
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