Babazile Langa first heard about Special Olympics in 2009, when she was working for the Swaziland National Sports Council. In assisting with World Games preparation, she was astonished to hear there were sporting opportunities designed for people with intellectual disabilities, and immediately loved the concept.
Eight years later, Langa was honored as National Director of Special Olympics Swaziland when the program won the annual President’s Award for outstanding work among the Africa Region’s 21 programs. She received the award in April 2017.
As Langa explains, “The biggest challenge faced by people with intellectual disabilities in Swaziland is not being accepted by family members, communities and the society at large. They are made fun of or ridiculed.”
Years later, when Special Olympics Swaziland needed more team members, she could see how big the need was and applied to fill it. She’s never looked back.
“The joy and appreciation the athletes display when they are given an opportunity to play is priceless.”