SIBU: Weight loss programme for special needs children will be the main agenda of the Special Olympics Sarawak next year.
Welfare, Community Well-Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said the effort is important to ensure that special needs children are healthy and have no health problems such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.
“During one of our programmes, it was found that 60% of our special games athletes were overweight.
“Thus, for 2018, our special needs children, especially those registered under Special Olympics, need to participate in a weight loss programme,” she told reporters at a press conference after an annual general meeting yesterday.
According to Fatimah, the weight loss programme has been implemented by Special Olympics Sarawak’s Sibu chapter and proved effective as the participants managed to lose up to 9kg in six months.
“Our paediatricians have found that special needs children had the tendency to become overweight so this issue must be on the agenda for every chapter next year,” she said.
She urged parents of special needs children to monitor their activity and nutrition so that their child did not develop weight problems.
Apart from that, she said a membership drive was another item on its agenda for next year.
Currently, she said the Special Olympics Sarawak had 859 members.
“We want to see more special needs children sign up with Special Olympics. This will give them an opportunity to engage in sports activity at chapter-level, division-level, state-level and national-level.
“And for those who have potential, they would have the opportunity to participate at an international-level.
“We have winter games and then summer game at the world game level, which our children could take part in,” added Fatimah.
She also said Special Olympic Sarawak had identified events which they would either organise or take part in 2018 and 2019.
This included Special Olympics Borneo Cup in November 2018 (host Special Olympics Miri); Special Olympics State Games in August 2018 (host Special Olympics Kuching); National Games in Kuala Lumpur to be held from April 5 to 8, 2018; and the World Games in March 2019 in Abu Dhabi., United Arab Emirates.