By Brendyn Monsorate, Bilal Hafeez and Christopher Swaminathan, UAE, March 18, 2019: Athletes from Papua New Guinea completes enjoyed a clean sweep of medals at Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.
The sportsmen and women from the tiny Pacific Island nation made their presence felt after winning gold, silver and bronze in the shot-put competitions at the Dubai Police Stadium.
Sixteen-year-old Judy Jubilee Moi won a gold medal, with Grace Dindillo, 22, taking a silver in her contest, and 26-year-old Jason Jubilee completing a hat-trick of honors for PNG with bronze.
One of the smallest countries and teams competing in the World Games, PNG sent just 15 athletes to the UAE to compete in football and athletics.
World Games Abu Dhabi Special Correspondents, Brendyn Monsorate, Bilal Hafeez and Christopher Swaminathan spoke to the PNG Special Olympics Team assistant coach about the team’s impressive hat-trick of medals and their preparations for the World Games.
“In order for us to participate in the World Games it took us one whole year to get ready,” said Margaret, the assistant coach.
“It was not easy, but our training schedule was three days a week of training for three to four hours a day. We had to really train hard.
In the past, facilities not so good in PNG but since 2015, after we hosted the Pan Pacific Games, the government decided to extend facilities through the PNG Special Foundation.”
The PNG government is actively working to improve the lives of youngsters with intellectual disabilities by including them in schools and sports programs, the coach said.
“Before it was not so much, but the government is now pushing them into inclusive education and inclusive sports and there is now a movement in PNG to include children of different abilities in all spheres.
“We are privileged that the wife of our Prime Minister, Lynda May Babao, is pushing these children towards inclusiveness.”
The coach added that the entire PNG team are savoring every moment at the World Games.
“I overwhelmed – it’s really good to be here.
It’s an eye opener for people like me who are participating in such an event for the first time”.