Unified Football Competition starts

This morning, children with disabilities and their able-bodied counterparts took to the field for an exciting game of soccer.

The ‘divisioning round’ for the Unified Football Competition, under Special Olympics PNG, was hosted at the Sir John Ignatius Kilage stadium.

As per its name, the unified competition involves children with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities and able-bodied children.

President of Special Olympics PNG, Takale Tuna, says they are using sports as a tool to integrate those with intellectual disabilities into society.

“That’s basically what this event is all about. It has been going on for about three years.”

Today was the divisioning round where participants’ strengths and weaknesses will be gauged to determine which division they will be put in.

“Next week the season proper will start, and competition will run for about 5 weeks, then we’ll have the finals.”

Tuna is issuing an invitation to parents whose children have Down syndrome, or have been diagnosed with intellectual disabilities, to join them.

“So I encourage parents who have those kids to bring them out on a Saturday and come and play a bit of sport so that they gain some confidence and be part of the greater community.”

The competition is open to interested Port Moresby residents as well, who have been invited to form a team and participate.

Carmella Gware