Special athletes appeal for support

Ratidzo Special School, in Masvingo, recently sent out an appeal for funds on behalf of two of the school’s pupils, earmarked to participate at this year’s Special Olympics World Games, slated for Los Angeles later this year.

Slated for July 25 to August 2, the Special Olympics World Games will this year largely rely on families and residents in Southern California to welcome and host 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches from 177 countries.

Since they were founded as a national sporting event in Chicago in 1968, the Special Olympics have become the world’s largest event for disabled athletes.

"We are appealing for donations for our pupils Allen Mapurisa (17) and Tafadzwa Mutasa (19), who are going to be part of the national team that is going to participate at the Special Olympics,” said Ratidzo headmaster, Ishmael Chiguma, in an interview recently.

“These kids need help in cash and or kind for us to cater for their transport, food and training kits so they excel in their dream of participating in this glamorous event. We believe that whatever they are doing is not only for them but our country as well. Let’s try to rally behind them all the way for a better result. Mapurisa is a defender in the national soccer team comprising mainly of players from Harare, while Mutasa will take part in the 200m and 400m races, as well as long jump.”

Christina Makusha, the Special Olympics public relations officer, also added her weight to the appeal. “We really need support to see our stars through to success in the USA games. We all want a better tomorrow for them,” she said.

"Three of our pupils once participated in these events. Annia Machokoto once toured Ireland for athletics, while George Kosa and Ronald Chigumbu also participated in soccer and equestrian (horseriding) games in America," added Makusha.

National training for the event is already underway at Prince Edward High School in Harare. Makusha applauded the support they were getting from Kyle College and the Masvingo community, who prepared their grounds and gave them fuel to go to sporting events.

Wellwishers can contact the school, Kyle College, PO Box 507, Masvingo, tel +26339265064, fax: +26339264281

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