Fiji’s Iliesa Delana competes in the Men’s High Jump F42 Final athletics event during the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in east London.
Wednesday, October 15. More than 540 students with disabilities from across the country were inspired today by the message delivered by Fiji’s Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Hon. Iliesa Delana.
Using his own example where he won Fiji’s first gold medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, the Assistant Minister said physical disabilities shouldn’t be a deterrent to achieve growth and development. He reminded them to focus on their aspirations without letting their disability stand in their way.
The Assistant Minister was speaking at the 2014 National Paralympic Games at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka this morning where he commended the work carried out by teachers, parents and community members towards empowering children living with disabilities.
“This day is meant to recognise their abilities and not their disabilities – as unique, special and equal individuals and we should recognise the presence of individuals with special needs in our society and treat them with fairness and equality. They are an integral part of family and society,” he said to the crowd, which included members of the Nadroga provincial rugby team who participated at today’s event.
“We hope that through the collective support of everyone gathered here today, more heroes will be unearthed.”
The two – day program will focus on the theme ‘Ability to Shine Through our Heroes’ and Hon. Delana said the event could be a launching pad for a talented individual yet to be unearthed.
“Today could be a dawn of a bright new future for someone with special need similar to me in any discipline,” he said.
The sports day programme has seen students from as far as Savusavu and Taveuni participating with other students from around the country.