THE Westlands Centre of Sports Excellence took on a carnival atmosphere with a series of activities held for 120 special needs children.
Cheers and laughter filled the field in Jalan Padang Victoria as the participants enjoyed telematches, a five-a-side football and Bocce (similar to lawn bowling).
Earlier, Michelle Teh led them in an oath taking ceremony, while Siti Marina Frohlich was in high spirit holding the Special Olympics Penang (SOP) flag.
They then sprang into action shortly after the launching ceremony of the SOP Health Forum and Carnival 2016.
Present to cheer them on were parents, teachers and volunteers and SOP committee members.
SOP secretary Sunny Kumaraisen said the participants came from several special schools in the state and the objective of the carnival was to reward them for their performance and also create an atmosphere of comradeship.
“All of them will be rewarded with prizes, regardless whether they win or lose in the event.
“Besides the outdoor activities, there are also health talks by professional speakers on ways to care for these intellectually disabled children.
“The talks are meant for parents, teachers and helpers, so that they would have better ideas to look after the children,” he said.
SOP president Dr S. Shanker said they were grateful to toy manufacturing company Mattel for supporting the event financially.
“The organising committee has worked very hard to get all of you here to have some fun in the spirit of special Olympics.
“I hope all of you have a great time,” he said, adding that it took them one month to organise the event.
Dr Shankar said they would play host to the National Special Olympics Bowling Championships scheduled to be held in November this year.
He said participants from all over the country would play the games at the Classic Bowl in Bukit Jambul Complex.
“We have secured a grant to host it. It is still at the planning stage and we will send out the invitation two months before the tournament,” he said.