(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) With approximately 200 SO Bharat athletes, coaches, officials, and guests in attendance Delhi held a send-off for their athletes representing the State at the Special Olympics World Summer Games to be held in Berlin, Germany in June 2023.
The event was held at the Delhi Golf Club, where Lieutenant Governor of Delhi VK Saxena was also present. Several others also wished luck to the participating athletes, including the Minister Of State, Home affairs, Youth Affairs and Sports, Nisith Pramanik, Minister Of State, Social Justice & Empowerment, Pratima Bhaumik, Manoj Tiwari, Member of Parliament & Kishan Bajoria, President, Delhi Golf Club.
The event opened with the comforting keyboard performance by two Athletes of the state, Priyanka Dewan, Roller Skating medallist from the Abu Dhabi World Games 2019 and Ayush Jha, a Shotput Athlete.
The residents from the Asha Kiran Home, New Delhi, also medallists from previous games, performed the Ganesh Vandana, while Yashika Bhatt, the Basketball Silver Medallist from the Abu Dhabi Games joined the program anchors.
Ranveer Singh, the Golfing Athlete and Shivani the Cyclist who will be pitching a spot at the Berlin World Games felicitated the guests along with Dr Mallika Nadda, Chairperson, SO Bharat and Dr Upasna Arora, President, SO Bharat- Delhi.
The flame of hope was ignited and handed over by the previous world games participants of the state to the Berlin participants. The torch symbolizes courage and celebration of diversity, uniting communities around the globe.
The torch will journey across a few states and return on 8 June to Delhi, at the National Send-off being held in the city. The event initiated the Best of Luck (BOL) Campaign encouraging people to cheer the Special Olympics Champions through 30 days clearly marking three elements, namely, the Flame of Hope, the Send-off and the Welcome Ceremony that would be held at the end of June.
Upasna Arora, President, SO Bharat- Delhi Chapter (MD, Yashoda Hospital) said: "The Athletes who are in the spotlight today are those who have the ability to play and win. They have Intellectual Disabilities but have struggled to push their limit. It makes me proud as I see us being represented through them on a world stage. They have been playing for India for several years, winning accolades for the nation. It's time for us to understand that differences exist and we must be sensitive to recognise, accept and commend them."
Mallika Nadda, Chairperson, SO Bharat said: "Special Olympics is separate from Paralympics. I would like all of us to be mindful of the difference. Today we can all see that the Athletes of SO Bharat have a desire to bring glory to the nation. They are Athletes with Intellectual Disabilities but have hope and determination to win. We have assembled here to recognise and honour them. As we do so let us join hands in opening opportunities of employment for them, enabling them to contribute meaningfully in the society that they are so much a part of. I trust that you all join me in extending best wishes to the Special Olympics Bharat Champions."
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