BEDC Distribution Plc. (BEDC) is reaffirming its commitment to her Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) drive by sponsoring 2 athletes to the 2019 Special Olympics world summer games to be held in Abu Dhabi between the 8th- 21st of March, 2019.
The theme for this year’s event which is: Let me win, if I cannot win, let me be brave in my attempt is aimed at driving respect, social inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities in the society. It will mark the culmination of the 50th anniversary celebrations of Special Olympics and the beginning of the next fifty years of the inclusion movement.
Speaking at the media send forth held at Vigeo Holdings, Lagos State, the Chief Agency and Channels Officer, of BEDC, Mrs. Felicia Nlemoha commended the Special Olympics team Nigeria for their selfless service to the nation and development of the special children.
“It is an achievement we should all be proud of because it gives the athletes a sense of belonging and acceptance in the society. We need to speak more on this initiative in order to attract more sponsors in the coming year.” She said.
“We are identifying with the Special Olympics for the first time and will continue to partner with SO in ensuring more special children are given a pride of place in the society especially in this era of social inclusion and participation. To the athletes, we are confident of your victory and you will come back victorious.” she added.
According to her, BEDC is delighted to be sponsoring 2 athletes from her franchise state; Mr. Godwin Friday from Edo State who will be participating in football and Miss Adewoyin Bukola from Ekiti state who will be playing table tennis. The donation was part of its corporate social responsibility in making the community safer for children through its safety sensitization campaigns where the children are educated about safety rules and how to observe best safe practices in their homes, schools and society in general.
Some of the parents of the athletes who could not hide their joy also commended Special Olympics Nigeria board members, the coaches, care givers, medical personnel, partners, donors and sponsors for believing in the children.
A parent of one of the athletes, Dr. Robert encouraged other parents who have special kids with intellectual challenges to bring them out as they all have other ways of showing their talents.
“Damola Robert is the first of my 4 children and was born with downs syndrome. If there is anyone that has brought more fame to the family, it is Damola, he has been on the pages of newspapers, he won 3 gold medals in a single Olympics,”he said.
Similarly, Mrs Esther Ukaonu believes it is a dream come true. “To me is it real or not that my son who should have been the least in the family is now the first person to fly not in a local plane but in an international plane.”
The Chairman, Special Olympics Nigeria, Mr. Victor Osibodu, represented by Mr. Akindayomi in his opening speech said:” The 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games will be the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world. It is expected to bring together 7,000 athletes, 3,000 coaches, 1,500 officials, 20,000 volunteers, 3,000 honored guests, 6,000 family members and over 500,000 thousand spectators from over 170 nations”.