SPECIAL OLYMPICS PHILIPPINES, an accredited program under Special Olympics, inc., was founded in August 1979 with the aim of providing year-round sports training and athletic competition to people with intellectual disabilities in 13 sports delivered by over 200 trained volunteer coaches.
In addition to sports training, Special Olympics Philippines provides other engagement initiatives for people with intellectual disabilities such as Family Support, Athlete Leadership Program, Youth Activation and Health Screening and Education.
What are intellectual disabilities?
By international definition, an individual is considered to have intellectual disability based on the following criteria:
- Intellectual functioning level (IQ) is below 70-75
- Significant limitation exists in two or more adaptive skill areas
- The condition manifests itself before the age of 18
According to the World Health Organization, up to three percent – or nearly 200 million people – of the world’s population have intellectual disabilities. It is the largest developmental disability in the world.
Intellectual disabilities knows no boundaries. It cuts across the lines of racial, ethnic, educational, social and economic boundaries, and it can occur in any family.
This condition is medically and formerly referred to as “mental retardation” – however, Special Olympics International advocates for the removal of the R-Word in the public domain in order to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
On Monday (April 23), I was fortunate to be invited to play a friendly competition of bowling alongside and against some of our country’s best of the best Special Olympics Athletes. It’s been ages since I was able to move a bowling ball across an alley and it is with great pride that I share to you that I was able to conjure a STRIKE on my first throw. 🙂
But unfortunately, that was my only strike for the whole 6-round game. (hahaha) Let’s call that pure “luck”.
Our team (Team Yellow) managed to end up getting the third place. White team gets the trophy and over-all champion title.
Here are the other teams:
And the Grand Champion:
The Special Olympics exhibition game held at The Palms Country Club in Alabang, Muntinlupa was done in celebration of the partnership between Special Olympics Philippines and Pan-Asian insurer FWD Life Insurance who recently launched their region-wide support to Special Olympics in Hong Kong last February by donating USD $1.25 million across the markets where they operate like Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, and of course the Philippines.
The event were participated by Kaye Samson, Special Olympics Philippines National Director, FWD Life Philippines President and CEO Peter Grimes and FWD Life Philippines Head of Marketing and Community Care Lead Roche Vandenberghe.
A symbolic gesture of partnership between FWD Life Philippines President and CEO Peter Grimes and Special Olympics Philippines National Director Kaye Samson:
FWD Life Philippines and Special Olympics Philippines Partnership
To fulfill their dream of an inclusive environment with equal opportunities for people with disabilities, FWD, through its Community Care Program, will support two Special Olympics programs – the Unified Schools and Athletic Leadership programs.
“Through this partnership, FWD aims to champion the dreams of young people with intellectual disabilities by creating an inclusive environment that provide equal opportunities,” said Peter Grimes. “FWD supports the vision of Special Olympics: using the power of sports to let people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities. Through this partnership, we are excited to bring to life our Community Care vision—to empower people to live fulfilled lives.”
For the Unified Schools program, FWD will partner with Special Olympics in engaging thousands of young people in workshops and unified activities to educate them about people with intellectual disabilities and train them to develop ways to create social change. FWD also plans to invite schools and communities to various sports and non-sports activities involving Special Olympics athletes, to celebrate acceptance and inclusion.
For the Athlete Leadership program, hundreds of athletes with intellectual disabilities will undergo training to be empowered, develop leadership skills, utilize their abilities to undertake leadership roles in the Special Olympics movement, and create inclusive communities all over the world. These activities will be done under the umbrella of FWD’s 2020 Community Care program whose goal is to improve the quality of life of individuals with disabilities in Asia by promoting inclusion through rehabilitation and vocational training and generate positive change for the disabled, their families, and their communities.
Aside from the invited Special Olympics athletes, press and bloggers – giving her support to the initiative is the very first Wishcovery Grand Champion PRINCESS SEVILLENA who sang a couple of songs during the event.
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