The Special Olympics World Summer Games brings to the world’s attention the talents and capabilities of people with intellectual disabilities, where more than 7000 Special Olympics athletes from 170 nations will compete in 21 Olympic-type sports. Special Olympics contributes towards making champions around the world through coaching, practice and competition. The Special Olympics athlete’s oath says it all: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”.
The Special Olympics Equestrian Advancement Event was held at the Shumbashaba Riding Centre on Saturday the 31st of May 2014. 38 Athletes participated in various classes with the aim of winning a gold medal and becoming eligible for inclusion in a random draw to ultimately select one female and one male equestrian athlete to represent South Africa at the 2015 Special Olympic Summer Games in Los Angeles, USA.
The event received 40 entries with 29 of the athletes eligible for qualification for participation in the 2015 Special Olympics. Athletes from Soweto, Kempton Park, the West Rand, Sandton and Diepsloot competed in two classes that included a compulsory English Equitation test and an optional class of either Working Trails or Dressage, although some inspirational riders opted to complete all three events.
The names of all the gold medal winners on the day were included in the draw to determine which male and female athlete will join the South African Special Olympic team off to compete at the 2015 Special Olympic Summer Games in Los Angeles, USA. Themba Sibiya and Maria Matlala, both care users from the Bona Lesedi Disability Centre in Diepsloot and both participants in the Shumbashaba Therapeutic Riding programme, were the worthy winners on the day.
The Bona Lesedi Disability Centre in Diepsloot – Gauteng is a NPO organisation striving to ensure that all people with disabilities are treated fairly and equally, living peacefully and harmoniously among the community of Diepsloot and the surrounding areas. With a resolute belief that all people with disabilities, especially children, should enjoy the absence of hunger, abuse, exploitation and homelessness -upholding basic human rights as outlined in the Constitution of South Africa. The organisation’s mission is to empower people with disabilities, in Diepsloot and its surrounding areas, to be financially independent through job creation to the benefit of the whole community and to make education, skills development and poverty-fighting mechanisms accessible to people with disabilities.
Western Shoppe were the proud sponsors of saddle pads for this wonderful event and would like to congratulate all the athletes for their participation, with an extra special congratulations extended to Themba and Maria! We wish you every success in your preparation for and participation in the 2015 Special Olympic Games. A heartfelt thank you must be given to the many volunteers on the day, the judges, SANESA, Bona Lesedi, Special Olympics SA and the Shumbashaba community trust, all of whom without the successful hosting of this event would not have been possible.
2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games, SA is coming!
Themba Sibiya and Maria Matlala qualify for the 2015 Special Olympic Games in Los Angeles, USA. The Special Olympics Equestrian Advancement Event was held at the Shumbashaba Riding Centre on Saturday the 31st of May 2014.