Laoag commends delegates to regional Special Olympics
By Aleli Aggasid-Batara
Laoag City (13 October) -- The city government commended on Monday (Oct. 9) the division delegates to the first regional Special Olympics held at San Fernando City, La Union on September 28-29 for their exemplary performance at the said competition.
The 18-member team of special children from the A.P. Santos Elementary School and the Ilocos Norte National High School bagged a total of 18 medals in five events: track and field; softball; gymnastics; power lifting; and badminton.
Four of the medallists namely Emerson Medina (100 meter run and relay), Mitzie Gaye Marcos (50 meter run), Cheston Barangan (power lifting) and Glydel Menor (gymnastics) will go on to compete in the national level in Manila.
Mayor Michael Fariñas was beaming with pride as be personally handed the certificates to the special education (SPED) students and their coaches during the weekly flag-raising ceremony in front of the city hall.
“Special children will always have a special place in my heart,” Fariñas said in his short message.
Teresita Edu, principal of the A.P. Santos Elementary School, thanked the city mayor for the moral and financial support extended by the local government to the special athletes.
“Unlike in other divisions, we had no funding problem, so we are very grateful to the mayor and our officials,” Edu said.
“Beyond, the financial help, they even acknowledged our special athletes just as they would have recognized regular athletes,” she added.
“Though they may be mentally challenged they have shown that they still have their share of abilities and given the proper support and training they will excel,” she proudly said.
“Our students only started training in late August, barely a month before the competition and yet they played well in the different fields,” Edu said.
“Even if we had to transfer from the original training venue at the Marcos stadium to Camp Juan, and there were the usual tantrums among our athletes, still we pushed on,” she said.
Edu shared that the Special Olympics is a an on-going program designed for special children that allows them to participate in a variety of sports events which aims to develop their physical fitness, instill courage and basically to let them have fun.
“This is the first time that we had a regional competition again after 1993, probably because of funding constraints,” she said. (PIA) [top]