Following the success of last year’s events at the Special Olympics Eastern Regional Games, Jesters increased their sponsorship to a level of 100, 000 baht for this year’s programme.
The games were again conducted at School #7 on Sukhumvit Road and attracted 250 disabled children from the following schools: Rayong Special School, Chachoengsao Special School, Garunyavet Special Orphanage, Samut Prakarn Special Centre, Sun Ganseuksa Phiset (Chonburi), Bangpakong Special Orphanage, Rayong Special Centre, Chantaburi Special Centre, Trad Special Centre, Ban Tung Klom, and the host Pattaya Muang Pattaya #7 School.
Pong took third place in the 400m race.
To take care of these children, many of whom need constant supervision, requires many teachers, coaches and volunteers who came from the various schools and centres, 70 participating in all, aided by 80 volunteers from the Institute of Physical Education Chonburi Campus and 20 Police Volunteers from Pattaya City.
The day began with the School #7 band leading the athletes to the main hall to be welcomed and addressed by Pattaya Mayor, Itthipol Khunplome. Other VIP’s, sponsors and visitors were then entertained by a vigorous aerobics display performed by the team from Chachoengsao Special School.
The games began with the girls indoor football between Chachoengsao Special School and Rayong Special School followed by the boys’ competition featuring the same two schools. The Chachoengsao teams won both events.
With the indoor part of the programme complete, the focus shifted to the athletic field for the outdoor sports to take place. This programme consisted of mainly running events over a variety of distances with a few field events as well. As always the competitors gave their all and displayed courage and tenacity while completing their tests.
The joy of just being a part of the occasion and allowed to participate was evident on every face regardless of their results. It is worth noting that every competitor finished their given task, regardless of their disability.
Many people and organizations were responsible for sponsoring the day, and I would suggest that they were all well rewarded and a little humbled to witness the purity of spirit in which these athletes competed. Each competitor was rewarded with a medal or a ribbon for their efforts and it seemed to matter not to these special people what colour it was. Everyone was a winner!
For Jesters’ spectators there was special interest in the twenty children from Sun Ganseuksa, Chonburi, as this center is supported by our charity drive, as is the learning center recently established at Khao Baisri, built by Jesters’ sponsors early this year.
It was great to see children that were familiar to us and to interact with them throughout the 2-day event.
Bill from Jesters congratulates some of the children on there efforts.
A track runner gives his all.
The scribe Bernie Tuppin with one of the winning girls teams.