By Tafadzwa Mpofu
Athlete and Special Olympics Global Ambassador Nyasha Derera accompanied by members of Special Olympics Zimbabwe visited two primary schools in Kariba this week on an educational tour on Special Olympics.
Nyasha Derera accompanied by National Director Mr Paul Kaunda, Coach Cheryl Hove amongst others visited Nyamhunga and Nyanhewe Primary Schools on Thursday and Friday to educate on Special Olympics, assessing and certifying some teachers they trained last year.
Special Olympics is not only a sporting movement but also a life changing movement. They advocate social inclusion through sports making sports a catalyst to breakdown barrier stereotypes and discriminations faced by children and adults with intellectual disability. Giving them continuous opportunity to improve through sports that transcend to the communities being included in whatever the society is taking part in.
“Mostly people like me, our parents, communities go under self denial, denying us seeing us as people without any meaningful contribution to the society.
” Sometimes we are left out in the important decision making processes in communities, so now we are moving away from that in an activity where we advocate active participation.
“In life no one applied to be born on what he is or she is and my advice to the communities is that do unto others as you want them to do unto you,”said Derera who won 17 gold medals, 7 silver medals and 5 bronze medals on different Special Olympics games across the World.
“Our school have now a better understanding and should look at the special class in a much positive way and we will give them resources so that they can excel like anyone else. Nyasha is leaving better in life than some with degrees and its a change of mindset that I have seen,” said Nyanhewe Primary School Deputy Headmaster Mr Munetsi who appreciated Derera’s living standards.
Coach Cheryl Hove also said, “I advice the community to treat people with intellectual disability with respect. We should tolerate and accept them because they are important and very special people in the community. Let’s inclusively include them in whatever we do. In school setups I believe all pupils are the same and treat them in a way that they feel accepted by the school and must feel that the school is a safe place for them.”