SPECIAL students from SMK Pendidikan Khas Persekutuan Pulau Pinang enjoyed a friendly bowling game with WA Isports, a non-profit organisation from Bunbury, Australia.
The event was graced by state police chief Comm Datuk A. Thaiveegan and honorary consul for Australia in Penang Datuk Dr Lim Huat Bee.
Both of them had a go down the bowling alleys themselves.
Event organiser Raj Ganesh said that the purpose of the event was to help promote Penang as a sports tourism destination in Asia.
“We also organised a cricket game, a race at City Park, a sepak takraw match and a tour around Penang,” he said at the Penang Bowl recently.
Among the 24 Australian athletes was WA Isports team member Josef Bandera, 20, who said that this was the first time the group was travelling abroad together.
“I take part in swimming and athletics and have competed in a few competitions before.
“We are really excited not only to be here but to also meet the other team,” he said.
Bandera added that WA Isports offers inclusive sports programmes for those with autism disorders or intellectual disabilities.
The enthusiasm was echoed by Muhammad Yusry Ahmad, 18, from SMK Pendidikan Khas Persekutuan Pulau Pinang.
He was among 19 students from his school taking part.
“I started bowling three years ago but have only played in school-level competitions.
“I am excited to be able to play against a team from Australia.
“It is nice to get the chance to meet other athletes with special needs,” said the student, who has hearing impairment.
Also present at the event were Penang Ministry of Health deputy director Dr Elizabeth Anthony, Education Ministry’s Special Education Unit assistant director Rosli Hashim and Penang Crime Prevention and Community Safety Department head Senior Asst Comm Datuk Mohamad Anil Shah.