Special Olympics Malawi (SOM) has formed a football club for children with intellectual disabilities in Salima in an effort to mitigate levels of disability among young athletes in the district.
In an interview on Wednesday during the launch of the club, SOM national director Felix Chisowa said the club is part of their initiative to reach out to many young athletes with disabilities in rural areas.
“The club is based at Thavite in Salima. To achieve goals of the club, 26 traditional leaders in the area, SOM-trained coaches and caregivers have been drilled in what the club is all about and its benefits to children with intellectual disabilities,” he said.
Chisowa said the programme is expected to reach out to about 300 young athletes with intellectual disabilities in the area under Traditional Authority (T/A) Mwanza.
“People with intellectual disabilities in most rural areas are sidelined in sporting activities because of their conditions. The idea to bring Special Olympics activities to these areas is aimed at giving them a chance to participate in sports that suits their abilities.
“The club will act as a platform where school-going athletes and those who do not go to school will participate in training equally,” said Chisowa.
T/A Mwanza’s representative, Wilson Ngwata, confirmed children with intellectual disabilities in the area are sidelined in sports activities, saying the new club will help strengthen bodies of disabled children in the area.