THE Special Olympics Zimbabwe (SOZ) will today hold their National Games at Prince Edward School in Harare to select athletes that will represent the country at the Special Olympics World Summer Games to be held in the United States next year.
At least 35 athletes and coaches who would have excelled in the Games that end tomorrow, will make Team Zimbabwe. The athletes will participate in three disciplines namely golf, athletics and 7-aside soccer. The National Games were launched at the venue yesterday afternoon ahead of the start this morning.
SOZ director Molly Matambanashe said their association’s main objective is to give fair opportunities to intellectually disabled athletes who are normally marginalised in mainstream sports competitions.
She added that the games provide a platform for the athletes to showcase their abilities on the sporting arena and this builds their confidence and spurs them on to excellence in their social engagements thereby affording them an opportunity to integrate well within communities.
“Our mission is to provide a year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community,” Matambanashe said.