Despite lockdown challenges, special talent continues to thrive

New Delhi, June 29 : With the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), Uttar Pradesh once again stepped into an untested realm, ensuring that the special athletes continue to keep themselves fit and sport ready. A virtual Unified Dribbling competition was held from June 21-27 in which 72 athletes and partners (36 teams) from four states (Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Rajasthan & UP) participated across 10 groups. Ashish Sharma, 19, an athlete from Bareilly who had never dribbled before, attempted a new sport, winning a silver medal along with his Unified partner at the event. Vasu Tiwari was felicitated for his persistent attempts at learning a new sport and demonstrating his grit to turn his failure into an achievement. At an earlier skipping competition, he did not stand a chance to compete. He, however, continued to practice showing everyone his newly acquired skipping skill, in a span of a few weeks. This and many more champion stories unfolded as the event rolled out. Amitasha N. Mishra and Sahil Singh, the Unified pair (a pair of youth with and without intellectual disability) of Uttar Pradesh led the event, presented in the gracious presence of the Founder & CEO of SO Bharat, Air Marshal Keelor, Dipak Natali, President & Managing Director, Special Olympics Asia Pacific Region, Singapore and Soren Palumbo, Vice president, Global Youth Engagement, Special Olympics International, USA amongst other guests from various Mainstream & Special Schools and organisations. Amitav Mishra, Gen Secretary SO Bharat, supported the team from the conception to the implementation of the event. Soren said: "The event, which is a part of the SNF initiative taken a few years back, demonstrated a giant leap in its successful delivery. I am amazed with the story of Vasu and am delighted to see the engagement of the youth. I am confident that they have the power to change the way people think and this energy must be tapped & channelised relevantly." /IANS


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