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Phoong praises Special Olympics Sabah athletes

19th September, 2019

SANDAKAN: Sabah Minister of Youth and Sports Phoong Jin Zhe commended the athletes from Special Olympics Sabah (Sandakan) for their achievements that have brought sports glory to Sabah in particular and Malaysia in general.

The Minister took time to meet with officials and athletes of the Sandakan District chapter of Special Olympics Sabah at the Sandakan Sports Complex last Saturday.

“Our local officials and athletes were delighted to meet YB Phoong and we took the opportunity to update the Minister on our activities and achievements,” said Taren Sunil Manoharan, the chairman of the SO Sandakan Chapter, in a press release issued yesterday.

Taren Sunil noted that there are many sports associations in Sabah and therefore Special Olympics felt deeply honoured that Phoong still managed to find time to meet with officials and athletes of Special Olympics Sabah (Sandakan).

Among those who welcomed the Minister were vice-chairman Maria J. Chang, honorary secretary Florence James and events director Asiah Tahir.

Several specially-trained teachers who are attached to teach and guide these special athletes were also present. Phoong also met with SMK Muhibbah students Noraini Binti Zakaria and Norysuhadatul Aulia Saidina Maarufi, who won three gold and a bronze medal in snowshoeing at the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 in Ramsau, Austria.

Those Games involved around 2,700 athletes from 107 nations around the world.

The bocce players from Sandakan who represented Malaysia at the Special Olympics East Asia Regional Bocce Competition 2018 in Hong Kong and won one gold, two silver and two bronze medals also had the pleasure of meeting the Minister.

After being briefed about the activities and achievements of SO Sabah (Sandakan), Phoong praised the local Special Olympics athletes for attaining praiseworthy results at various major international events.

Phoong then advised the athletes to remain disciplined, steadfast and dedicated during training in order to improve themselves and go on to achieve greater glory in the future.

Special Olympics Sabah (Sandakan) is the local district chapter of a national organisation formed to introduce and promote sports activities among the intellectually challenged members of society. It firmly believes that the intellectually challenged are equally entitled to enjoy the benefits of sports and other activities that will add joy and meaning to their lives.

“However, we have to accept the fact that because they are intellectually challenged, we have to take a different approach to get them involved in sports and other healthy activities,” stressed Taren Sunil.

Since its formation, Special Olympics Sabah (Sandakan) has taken up the challenge to organise various activities for their special athletes who in turn have chalked up very satisfying results. – PR

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