Eight special children from Tiruchi, who had returned recently after taking part in the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games held in Australia, were felicitated by Rotary Club of Tiruchirapalli Rock City, here on Thursday.
Seven out of the eight children were present, and they received citations from S. Gopal, governor, Rotary district 3000.
Mohanavel, Mani Balu, and Joel S. Varkey (Dolphin Special School); Divakar, Naveen Akash, and Arvind Subramani (Blossoms Opportunity School, Holy Cross College); Siril Robert (Vedivelli Special School); and Joseph Chkaravarthi (Asha Deepam Special School), participated in the Special Olympics held from December 1 to 7 in New Castle, Australia.
Three of the students won medals - Mohanavel had won silver medal in running and long jump, Joseph Chakravarthi bagged silver, and Mani Balu a bronze. The other five children secured fourth and fifth positions in different events.
Mr. Gopal thanked the teachers and the coach, and praised them for their unwavering support and dedication towards the children. “Special Olympians are in no way lesser than normal Olympians. In fact, Special Olympics help those with intellectual disability make friends and engage in sporting events. It brings out their hidden talents,” he said.
“Participation itself is a great achievement and the winners have gained immense self confidence. It is up to organisations such as Rotary Club to encourage, help, and support such special children in their endeavours,” he added.
Paul Devasagayam, area director-Tamil Nadu for the Special Olympics, commended the efforts of the special children. The coach, Sara Arockia Mary, was present.