| Fadhil Yunus |
THE Special Olympics 3rd Southeast Asia Unified 5-A-side Football Tournament, which was held for the first time in Brunei Darussalam, marks a significant milestone in the development of the Special Olympics Brunei Darussalam movement.
Lt Col (Rtd) Pg Hj Rambli bin Pg Hj Bunut, Chairperson of the tournament, said this during the opening ceremony at Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien College yesterday at the event was Dr Hj Zulaidi bin Hj Abd Latif, Director- General of Medical Services.
Pg Rambli underscored that Unified Football combines athletes with intellectual disabilities and capable individuals for training and competition.
“Unified Sports is part of the Special Olympics International’s movement which encourages the inclusion for people of intellectual disabilities.
“We use sports as a catalyst to build inclusive communities and enrich the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities.”
Pg Rambli said athletes with intellectual disabilities playing together with their able- bodied partners demonstrate the power of sports in making “a part” of each other and not “apart” from each other.
Two Special Olympics Brunei Darussalam teams, Special Olympics Indonesia, Special Olympics Thailand, Special Olympics Labuan and Special Olympics Sarawak are competing.
Each team is represented by five Special Olympics athletes and three Unified partners.
The tournaments were previously held in Singapore in September 2012 and Malaysia in 2013.