CHILDREN with disabilities were seen showing their talent at the Selangor OKU Sports Carnival.
Kasmawati Bahtiar, who is attached to the Community Based Rehabilitation Programme (PDK) in Nanding, Hulu Langat, was proud to see children from her centre discovering their potential.
“I hope that more people can participate in this carnival in the future,” said Kasmawati, 38, who led a delegation of three participants.
Yusmi Alfian, 47, was pleased to see his son, who has cerebral palsy, enjoying himself at the sports carnival.
“He likes the atmosphere here. He even made some new friends.”
Staged for the first time, the Selangor OKU Sports Carnival 2023 drew 180 participants with disabilities.
They competed in four events — bocce, 100m sprint, walk and roll, and 4x100m relay — at the carnival held at Stadium JKR in Shah Alam.
Hosted by PDK Shah Alam, each of the nine districts in Selangor sent a delegation.
Two more delegations came from SMK Subang Bestari and SMK Seksyen 16, Shah Alam.
Programme director Nazlin Hanie Abdullah said the carnival aimed to give the disabled community an opportunity to participate in something meaningful and also socialise with others.
“The carnival was a success and we hope it can become an annual event and will also be held at the national level in the future.
“It is also a great platform to discover talents for the Paralympics,” she said.
The carnival was jointly organised by the Welfare Department, Universiti Selangor, Youth and Sports Ministry and PDK Shah Alam Recreation Organisation.
Senator Isaiah D. Jacob presided over the closing ceremony.
He said he would bring up in Parliament that it was important to hold an annual sports event for the disabled.
“On that day, no other events should be held so that everyone can focus on the disabled community and their needs.
“Also, the government should require that all ministers and state executive councillors attend to show their love for the community.”
In his speech, Isaiah also announced that the OKU Entrepreneur Carnival would take place on March 2 and 3 next year at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur.
“This will be a chance for the specially abled community to showcase their success stories,” said Isaiah.
“I will be leading the event organising committee which will comprise members from the specially abled community,” he added.