Father Ray Center for Children with Special Needs

 

 

 

Recently Pattaya, and the province of Chonburi, were represented for the very first time ever at the Special Olympics Thailand.

The Special Olympics were founded in the 1960’s by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, member of the famous Kennedy clan and sister of President John and Senators Robert and Ted Kennedy.

It was over twenty years later in 1987 that Thailand held its first Special Olympics and the competition is now held every two years.

Children from the Father Ray Center for Children with Special Needs traveled up to the province of Nakhon Ratchasima where they joined athletes from one hundred similar organizations for several days of competition.

For many of the children it was their first time away from home, but with almost as many chaperones as athletes, and no parents in sight, it was a week to remember.

Athletes participated in a variety of sports, including athletics, swimming and table tennis, as well as several sports specially adapted to children with special needs and which involve the athlete using their motor skills. 

For most athletes, whether they have or do not have a physical or intellectual disability, winning a medal at the Olympics, Paralympics or the Special Olympics is the pinnacle of their training, and a large selection of gold, silver and bronze medals traveled back to Pattaya with a group of very happy athletes.

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