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"Special Olympics Nigeria Humbled Me"

"Special Olympics Nigeria Humbled Me"

by Emmanuel Oleabhie
Young Athletes Volunteer Coach at Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria


One of the things that attracted me to Special Olympics Nigeria and to be Young Athletes coach is my passion to impact & touch lives. My passion & expectations were never cut short. In fact, it was an experience I will never forget. It has exposed me to knowing what it entails to have an intellectual Disability. It has humbled me, making me see the face of Christ in the athletes. This motivated me the more in that, it made me not to see faults in their behaviour. Instead of complaining & insulting, I encouraged & corrected them with love.
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Emmanuel (left) during a Young Athletes Implementation session at Down Syndrome Foundation 

The athletes were amazing in their acts during the implementation, they showed lots of interest especially whenever an ‘energising song' was introduced to them. Their joy knew no bounds. I saw pure love being expressed and I was amazed and inspired.
 
I can still picture the scenario where an athlete seriously offended his classmate, after being reprimanded and told to apologise, he went straight to his classmate, apologised and they embraced each other. I wasn't expecting it but that day, I left with a different perception of people with ID.
 
Thank you Special Olympics for this opportunity.
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Emmanuel (right) receiving his coach's certificate from SO Nigeria Sports Officer Richard Enefiok (Left) after attending the Young Athletes training workshop held in February 2016 

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