Earlier this week, the 2015 Paralympics Sports Festival got underway in Lebanon, at the Lebanese School for the Blind in Baabda. The opening ceremonies were attended by a number of dignitaries and athletes from the country’s disability sport community, including Lebanese Paralympic Committee President Randa Assi Berri. Lebabon’s Youth and Sports Minister Abdul Muttalib Hinnawi was also in attendance.
Berri gave a speech in which she first honored the legacy of the people in the organization who have recently died. Then she talked about how athletes are not people with special needs, but special abilities. She went on to say that as athletes win medals and bring attention to disability sport in the country, they also help show how sport can bring about advancement in society and change attitudes. She also talked about how the Lebanese Paralympic Committee is working to create a facility in the south of the country to help continue the development and advancement of disability sport in Lebanon.
Local sport clubs were also honored during the open ceremonies, including the Wii Sports Club (نادي لوى الرياضي), Goodwill Sports Club (نادي غوود ويل الرياضي), Pacific Sports Club ( نادي الهادي الرياضي), Disability Sports Club for the Wounded ( نادي الجريح الرياضي للمعوقين), Sports Association for the Disabled – Tripoli (الجمعية الرياضية لمنتدى المعاقين – طرابلس), Lebanese School for the Blind in Baabda (المدرسة اللبنانية للضرير والأصم – بعبدا), Nazek Hariri Humanitarian and Development Complex ( مجمع نازك الحريري للإنماء والقدرات الإنسانية ) and the Lebanese Evangelical Association for the Blind (الجمعية الإنجيلية اللبنانية للمكفوفين) .