28 Kuching athletes for Special Olympics meet

KUCHING: Special Olympics Kuching Chapter (SOKC) will be sending 28 athletes for the state-level Special Olympics meet in Miri from Nov 1 to 3.

The chapter’s chairperson Datin Dayang Mariani Abang Zain told The Borneo Post yesterday SOKC was expecting to send 58 but ended up without any from Samarahan.

“We did our best to help out the relevant parties in Samarahan to get the list of athletes but unfortunately they were unable to meet the deadline,” she explained.

One reason, according to Dayang, was because the athletes from the various Community Rehabilitation Centres (PDKs) and Special Education Classes were scattered all over the division.

“In Samarahan, the athletes are not from the same place and we understand the difficulties faced in getting the list done because it takes time for the selection process and for them to come up with a good list,” she added.

Kuching is only allocated 28 slots for its athletes to compete in bowling, bocce, athletics, football and aquatics. The quota given to Samarahan is also 28 which cannot be filled up by Kuching.

Without Samarahan, only 200 athletes from Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu, Sri Aman and host Miri are expected to compete in the three-day event.

Dayang revealed that, due to financial constraints, the Kuching team accompanied by head coach Sanfa Guel and seven other coaches will travel by road to Miri on Oct 31.

Accommodation and other basic needs are being taken care by the organisers during the meet.

She also disclosed that Minister for Welfare, Women and Family Development, Datuk Fatimah Abdullah, who is also Special Olympics Sarawak (SOS) president will officiate the opening ceremony on Nov 1.

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