Lahore : Provincial Minister for Sports Jahangir Khanzada inaugurated the 17th Punjab Special Olympic Games at a grand opening ceremony at Punjab Stadium on Wednesday.
Secretary Sports Punjab Muhammad Aamir Jan, Special Monitoring Unit incharge Fatima Zaidi, Aneesur Rehman of Special Olympic Association Punjab and model Mehreen Syed were also present on this occasion.
Punjab Minister for Sports Jahangir Khanzada, Secretary Sports Punjab Muhammad Aamir Jan and other guests witnessed the march past of special students. Flame of 17th Punjab Special Olympic Games was also lit in the stadium.
The Special Olympic Games are being held under the auspices of Sports Board Punjab, Special Olympic Association Punjab and Special Monitoring Unit (SMU) and will remain continue till November 10. Around 1100 special students from 30 schools and colleges are featuring in the 3-day games.
Addressing the grand opening ceremony of Special Olympic Games, Punjab Minister for Sports Jahangir Khanzada lauded the passion of special students of various schools and colleges. “It’s nice to see hundreds of male and female special students taking part in games like Athletics, Basketball, Badminton, Bocce, Cycling, Football, Table Tennis, Powerlifting and Swimming in a major event like Punjab Special Olympic Games,” he added.
Punjab Minister for Sports Jahangir Khanzada said special people are important part of our society. “Disabled boys and girls have equal rights to utilize sports facilities of the province,” he asserted.
Provincial Minister for Sports Jahangir Khanzada said that Punjab government is strongly encouraging the reforms to accelerate pace towards strengthening our resolve of ‘No Athlete Left Behind’. “We will make event memorable through some hectic efforts. Punjab govt is taking effective measures for the sports promotion among special people as vision of Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif”.
The Minister said: “Win or lose doesn’t matter in the games. All the participating special players are winners. They are our heroes and we are proud of them all”.
Talking on this occasion Secretary Sports Punjab Muhammad Aamir Jan said the main purpose of Punjab Special Olympic Games was to engage hundreds of male and female students in various sports activities. “I’m quite sure that Punjab will find plenty of talented special players from these games,” he expressed his hope.
He further said Punjab govt will continue to support these athletes in competing in all major national and international sports events.
Secretary Sports Punjab Amir Jan said the 17th Punjab Special Olympic Games are a giant step towards encouraging Punjab’s special youth and raising awareness for their inclusion in society.
“These landmark games are a continuation of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s resolve of ‘No Athlete Left Behind’ where three special athletes from Punjab were sponsored by the Government of Punjab for the 2017 World Winter Games in Austria and the winners were honoured in a separate reception as well”.
Head of Special Monitoring Unit Fatima Zaidi, on this occasion said these games are unparalleled at this scale in Pakistan. “It marks the continuation of our struggle in for the participation of special players in sports activities. A few months back, we proudly witnessed athletes from this platform gloriously returning with Olympics medals,” she added.
Following are the opening day results of 17th Punjab Special Olympic Games:
Men’s 105 kg powerlifting:
Furqan (Sialkot), Rizwan Shahid (Rising Sun), Bilal Khan (SETC)
Shahla Sarfraz, Shabana, Tabindah
Men’s 50km race:
Danial Saeed, Rehan Ahmed, Nofil Waqas
50km 2nd race:
Hamza Lari, Ali Usman, Shahbaz
Men’s 1500m race:
Wahaj, Arslan, Akash
1500m 2nd race:
Saad Haris, Abdul Mateen, Husnain Arif
Women’s 50m race:
Nimra, Eisha Noor (first), Aysha Qadri, Afraz Azmat (2nd), Manahil, Khadeeja (3rd)
Men’s 100m race:
Talha Mehmood, Moazzan Ashraf (first), Shahzad M Ali (2nd), Meer Ali, Noman Yaseen (3rd).