Kenya: Preparations in Top Gear for Special Olympics
By Henry Neondo
NAIROBI--In preparation for the participation in the forth coming Winter games set for January 2013, Special Olympics Kenya (SOK) has stepped up its programmes meant to come up with a team of the intellectually disabled persons able to emulate marathon runners.
Last week, the SOK gathered coaches from around the country in Nairobi for a special training in various disciplines although the country will basically be participating in floor hockeying.
John Makathimo, the National Coordinator, SOK said the coaches were assembled to prepare them ahead of time and highlight key programmes for them to emphasise on as the country gears to participate in key games.
Makathimo said his office is set to send a team to South Africa for the unified football, Puerti Rico for Swimming and the winter games in Pyong Yang, South Korea. The coaches, mostly coming from special schools around the country were charged with the responsibility to organise at least 600 competitions around the nation and pick the best players that would represent the country.
According to participants, for SOK to achieve the set target by the Special Olympic International based in the US, modalities have to be worked out on cooperating with the ministries of Education and Sports.
In the training, coaches, mostly coming from special schools around the country, the coaches were taught on the basics of divisioning based on age, ability, timing to respond to instructions etc.
According to Joshua Agare, Athlete Representative at the SOK Board, the rationale behind divisioning is to ensure that all that compete are equal and every one is a winner. "People are put within categories with the aim not to see the winner as it is in any other normal games," he said.
In Unified Sports, teams are made up of people of similar age and ability, which makes practices more fun and games more challenging and exciting for all.
In the game the country is to participate in, the floor hockey, the trainer said the kits have already arrived from New Jersey, US for teams to use for training although the surface needed for the training is still a challenge.