Special Olympics Nigeria has successfully concluded the Sports for Hope Initiative with a grand finale tournament featuring football and volleyball, informative talks, entertaining performances as well as health screening for attendees.
The event which held last Saturday at the Campos Mini Stadium on Lagos Island was sponsored by the Embassy of France in a bid to foster amongst communities the inclusion of persons with disabilities (PWIDs), psychological empower them and promote a positive lifestyle choices with the use of Football and Volleyball as its driving sports tool.
Through this initiative, the organisation equipped 224 people with intellectual disabilities and 160 people without intellectual disabilities with vital information on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), financial management, and health promoting behavior to enable them to make better life choices.
The official kick-off of games was done by the Ambassador of France to Nigeria, Jerome Pasquier, signaling the start of the first set of competitions.
Speaking at the event, Special Olympics National Director, Naomi Ejobe whilst addressing attendees thanked the sponsors of the event, appreciating them for their continued support.
She noted that the event wouldn’t have possible without their support. Naomi also commended athletes from the various communities for participating in all activities that was organized by the team stating that the impact of what they have learned in the past few months has been visible.
Also speaking at the event, the Ambassador of France to Nigeria, Pasquier who stated that, “the embassy is very happy to support Special Olympics team in carrying out this noble course noting that France is well recognized in sporting activities and we take the game of Football very important. Sponsoring the Sports for Hope initiative is an avenue to foster relationship amongst both countries and most importantly to understand the people, its culture and values”.
Pasquier also noted that the Embassy of France was willing to continuously support Special Olympics Nigeria.
In the football event third-place match between Bariga and Ajegunle saw the former emerge as winners while Ikorodu emerged winners of the Volleyball game after defeating their Isolo counterparts. Mushin defeated 1-0 Agege to emerge champions of the football event.
Winners were presented with medals while Adeola Adegoke of Mushin emerged “The Most Valuable Player”.
Grace Ketefe of the Ceceyara Foundation engaged in an educative session on child sexual abuse and the penalties attached for offenders.
SO Nigeria’s athletes Lekan Ogunkoya and Dayo Adekoya entertained guests with keyboard performance. Danny S. thrilled guests present at the event with his top hit ‘Ege’.
Special Olympics Nigeria is part of a worldwide movement aimed at changing the misconceptions individuals have about people with intellectual disabilities (PWID) through various sports training and athletic competitions in a variety of Olympic – type sports for children and adults.