The Bhutan Paralympic Committee (BPC) organised the third edition of Paralympic Festival last month with 1,915 non-disabled and children with special educational needs (SEN) participating in various sporting activities held over a week.
The objective of the Festival held at the Gersaling Central School (GCS), Dagana and Damphu Middle Secondary School (DMSS), Tsirang was Advocacy on the Paralympic Movement, Implementation of I’mPOSSIBLE programme and Talent identification.
During the Festival, students were shown motivational videos on Bhutan Paralympians and videos on the Paralympic Movement to help them understand disability and support SEN children in the schools. They were also introduced to various sports like Goalball, Sitting Volleyball, Blind Football, Para Badminton and Boccia.
This year, the participation has grown by 24 per cent from the second edition last year. The first edition of the Festival in 2019, which was also attended by Asian Paralympic Committee President Majid Rashed, saw just 400 attending indicating the growth of the Movement in the country.
Prior to the Paralympic Festival in Dagana and Tsirang, 15 SEN teachers were trained on Inclusive and Adaptive sports so that Para Sport is played throughout the year.
The course was facilitated by coach Penjor Gyeltshen and Mrs. Rupa Devi Subba, who was trained by the Agitos Foundation. As many as 14 SEN students and 10 SEN teachers from Gersaling Central School and 18 SEN students and 5 SEN teachers from Damphu Middle Secondary School have been given first-hand experience on Para Sports through the course.