Just like it has done in previous world games, Special Olympics Nigeria (SONigeria) will be making its debut at this month’s Special Olympics World Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
The team will join other 3000 athletes that will compete at the games scheduled for January 25 to February 5. SONigeria will compete on floor hockey at the global event.
Highlighting the significance of the team’s participation, Chairman of the board of SONigeria, Victor Osibodu stated that the competition is one of the biggest sports events of the year, adding that this would help the athletes to prepare for the next World Games in 2015.
.”Our officials and athletes would join over 3,000 athletes from over 100 nations around the world to participate in the Special Olympics world winter games. And I believe that taking part in the event would be a milestone for SONigeria as it would be our first time of attending a winter games. Our team would compete in floor hockey which is an indoor sport specifically designed for temperate regions,” Osibodu said.
National Director, SONigeria, Folashade Bolumole said the athletes going to South Korea were selected across schools in Lagos. She noted that, “They were chosen from Wesley school for the deaf, Modupe Cole School, Atundaolu school and Down syndrome International school. They are already in the camp training in preparations for the games. We also appreciate the technical support from the Nigerian Hockey Federation”.
Lagos State Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, Wahid Oshodi, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Sports Endowment Fund, Tunde Bank-Anthony stated that the state government is delighted to sponsor the team as it believes that these intellectually challenged children deserve support. “The Lagos state government will continue to support SONigeria and partner the initiative as well as encourage other governments to support the cause,” he said.