This year's Special Olympics for the mentally retarded and the physically challenged will come off at Bator in the Volta Region, on Friday, September 20.
About 500 persons are expected to participate in the programme, which will involve athletes from various parts of the world.
Eleven schools for the mentally retarded in Ghana have confirmed their participation in the programme, which will also include 15 persons from various parts of the world. The Special Olympics programmes offer a year-round training and competition in 24 Olympic sports to children and adults, particularly those with mental retardation. The participation in training is opened to people aged eight and above with programmes designed for all ability levels.
There are Special Olympic movements in nearly 147 countries across the world, with more than 500,000 identified and trained volunteers.
Special Olympics programmes ensure a variety of benefits for the participants. These include improved physical fitness and motor skills, movement co-ordination of the body, greater self-confidence and fellowship, and increased family support and closeness.
Like the Olympic games, the Special Olympics ensure the linking of deep divisions that are caused by social, political, religious and cultural differences, while providing an avenue for fostering friendship and confidence through training and competitions.
The spirit of the programme transcends the boundaries of geography, politics, nationality, gender and race, and has been translated in the achievement of the athletes.