The sports meet at Mangala Stadium on Monday looked like any other sports meet for children but it was special. The gallery was less than half-filled. But that didn’t deter the youngsters who were participating in the event. The children were bubbling with energy and were cheering their peers on from the stands. Organisers said that 113 children with special needs participated in the District Level Sports Meet for the Mentally Challenged. It included 23 children from Swastha Centre for Special Education & Rehabilitation (Kodagu), 13 from Chetana Special School (Mangalore) 16 from Manasa Special School, Pambur (Udupi), eight each from Lions Special School (Mangalore) and Christa Raj Navachetana Special School (Karkala), seven from Aasha Nilaya School, Udupi, and four from Alva’s Special School, Moodbidri.

The children took part in 100m and 200m races, long jump and shot put. Atheesh Kumar, from Mangalajyothi Integrated School, Vamanjoor, who returned to the gallery after participating in the long jump, said, “I did it.”

Jeevan, from Chetana Special School, said he had participated in the shot put competition with his classmates Ranjit and Sachin and found it ‘easy’.

Chandrika, teacher, Chetana Special School, said 13 students from her school had participated in the 100 m race and shot put. Siddharth Singh, a doctor from KMC, was present at the event to take care of the children in case of any medical emergencies.

He said other than a case where the child had small bruises, there were no other incidents.

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