"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." – International motto for the Special Olympics
"Special Olympics" is a movement of leaders at the national, state, city and community level operating in close to 180 countries. It maintains that through sports training and competition, people with intellectual disabilities benefit physically, mentally, socially and spiritually; families are strengthened; and the community at large, both through participation and observation, is united in understanding people with intellectual disabilities in an environment of equality, respect and acceptance.
FDSC is actively involved in hosting the annual Northern Thailand Special Olympics. Since 1997, it has provided over 10,000 participants with the opportunity to showcase their gifts and spirit with friends, family and the community.
The games provide an environment dedicated to their enjoyment and sense of belonging, and helps to teach families new ways to encourage confidence in their children.
Whether participants choose to compete on the field or enjoy the games on the sidelines, the Special Olympics gives 800 mentally challenged children a flagship event to work towards and look forward to each year.
This yearly event is an important part in the process of young athletes working towards competition at National and then International levels. Billy (20) from Chiang Mai won the GOLD medal for tennis at the Special Olympics World Summer Games held in Shanghai in 2007.
Eight young footballers from Chiang Mai also won SILVER medals at the 2007 Special Olympics in Shanghai.
FDSC held a fundraiser to cover their passports, uniforms and travel expenses to Bangkok. From there the International S.O. Committee took over and paid the rest of their expenses. A total of 32 athletes from Thailand attended along with 15 teachers.
For many children the Northern Thailand Special Olympics event is the only excursion of the year. And staying the night before in Chiang Mai provides an exciting environment much like a school camp. Provincial schools also take advantage of the free transport to take students on a second excursion to Chiang Mai Zoo or other attractions.
It costs just $12.50 to provide complimentary transport, catering, equipment and uniforms for each participant. FDSC welcomes your collaboration to ensure the continuation of this program for special needs children.
Archive: More on the Special Olympics