A Sports Carnival with #manzilbooks

This post is to inform everyone the books we’ve been collecting for Manzil are finally going to be put on sale. It’s also going to be combined with the school’s Sports Carnival, which will take place on Saturday, February 11, 2012 at the Khalifa University, Sharjah.

Normally, these events are a bit low key, with just the parents and families involved. But this time, the Manzil Sports Day has evolved into the Sports Carnival.

Here’s the event invite; do pop by!

If not to cheer the adorable students while they compete in various sports, but to buy some books and play some games? Come on, it’ll be a fun day out. The event invite says 10am-5pm; from 10am-12pm are the sporting events and then onwards is the fun fair activities, including the booksale.

Anyone want to help them out? Read on, thanks!

Also, if anyone is interested in supporting the school, here’s how you can do it:

1. The school is selling spaces/tables for firms and/or individuals with businesses who want to showcase their wares and sell their items on that day. Participation for this closes February 2, 2012. Do spread the word.
2. They need a photographer and a videographer from 10am-1pm that day. Anyone who’s up for some pro bono work, drop me a line at contact(at)devinadivecha(dot)com.

Thanks again to everyone who supported the collection of books!

Previous posts you might want to read:
Participate in a special Sports Carnival + #manzilbooks update
The #manzilbooks update
At #manzilbooks at @wildpeeta
Donate books to help raise funds for a special needs school

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A very special Sports Day

 

Karan’s school, Manzil, organizes a Sports Day for its students, which is usually held in Al Thiqah Club, Sharjah. Every time, Mom and I head over to cheer all the kids on. We’re never told what Karan is doing – it’s always a surprise every year.

Now, Karan can be quite active, but only when he wants to be. If we tell him to run, or play, or do absolutely anything, he’ll clam up. For Sports Day, we just hope he’s in a good mood so he gets to participate as well.

This year, he was in two races. One involved him wearing some kind of paper giraffe hat, running to a vine with a string of leaves, picking up said leaves and running to the finish line. Haha, only he hates wearing stuff on his head…so when he ran to the leaves vine, he pulled off his giraffe hat and fiddled with the leaves. Still, he came third, after ambling. No running for my lazy darling.

The next race, he was given a basket and he had to pick up objects in his path, put them in the basket and run to the finish line. He did not run. However, he did amble a bit faster than usual, so he came second in the semi-final which put him in the final, where he came second again. Here’s the video of the final:

Not all of the kids are fast or want to run, and some don’t know why they’re doing it (like Karan for example). But it doesn’t matter. When someone crosses the finish line first, the audience (all parents except me!) cheers. And so on. And then the race is over but for one cute little kid far behind. It doesn’t matter. We scream, we cheer, we shout encouragements. Then when the child passes the finish line, we whoop.

Some of the memorable moments from the day include:

  • A little one who probably comes up to my knee moving his tiny little legs as fast as I’ve ever seen, looking adorable as he did.
  • A student who runs super fast, raising his hands in victory even before he crossed the finish line. He won.
  • Another student is one my favourites to watch on Sports Day. His enthusiasm and positive nature is unflagging. Every single year, whether he wins or loses, he crosses the finish line and raises his hands above his head, pumps his fists and looks at the crowd, cheering him on. This year he did not disappoint. I love love love LOVE his attitude; it’s so uplifting. He won a couple of races this time and I’m so happy he did.
  • Students running towards the finish line, then abruptly stopping a millimetre before the line, wondering whether they should cross it or not. Cuties.
  • A cheerleading performance by the students.
  • The Millennium School in Sharjah runs a Best Buddy scheme with Manzil, where some of their students volunteer for events, as they did for this day, and pair up with those students at Manzil able to communicate and become their peer buddy. They were terribly helpful during the event.
  • There’s always a race for the Moms and Dads who attend the event. Mom doesn’t participate because of her problems with legs, but generally I do. This time however, I’d managed to splay myself on a Karama sidewalk the day before and my knee looked like splotches of purple, pink and green, and my right leg was in some discomfort. So I declined to run. However, the best buddies clamoured around us because we were among the few not going down. Then those kids called me ma’am and aunty!!! I was appalled and even more determined to sit firmly in my seat. Aunty…AUNTY?!?!?!

Some pictures:

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I love attending events like these, and his concerts for example. It’s such a testament to what these children are capable of. It’s also so much more laudable considering the issues they face on a daily basis. For the NTs (neuro-typical…that’s all the “normal” folk to you), it’s just a race. You run. You place first, second, third, last…whatever. For my brother, it’s an achievement.

Congrats on your certificate Karan!