A champion story
Sanjana is an active fun-loving and energetic athlete of SPJ Sadhana School
Around 4 years back, I had accompanied Sanjana for a sports event on a hot and sunny day. She had participated in Athletics and had won a medal that day. During the lunch break I just expressed to her that "I wish I could have kept an AC over her head" to protect her from the scorching heat. Sanjana spontaneously remarked "'Biggies (She has coined BIGGIES to call me as I am her big sister), I don't need an AC as I am already wearing a cap". My mother & I were totally astonished by her spontaneous presence of mind.
That day I witnessed Sanjana succeeding physically on the sports ground and also cognitively by being able to use her mind so practically and logically. A response like this from her being a child with Down's syndrome, overwhelmed me. I felt so proud of her My name is Gayatri Pore and I am the sister of Sanjana Pore, Athlete from SO Bharat Maharashtra (Mumbai). Sanjana has made us conscious of the smaller achievements that we take for granted and miss out so many joyful moments in life. Sanjana has taught me how to be happy. She passionately practices "Where there is a will, there is a way" no matter what her limitations are. I got introduced to Special Olympics through my sister, Sanjana's school - SPJ Sadhana School. Sanjana joined the program (Special Olympics Bharat Young Athletes) when she was 7 years has taken part in various sporting events since, including those held by Special Olympics Bharat Maharashtra and winning medals in some of the competitions. She has participated in Athletics and Table Tennis under the supervision of her Coach Rajashree. Until Feb 2019 I knew of Special Olympics only as a sports program that Sanjana used to talk about. It is then I realized that it is a movement involving many more persons including the Siblings of Special Athletes to join and make this world a better place. Even I was not clear that this program was different from Paralympics. People really need to interact and engage to be able to treat everyone with care and respect. They should visualize the lives of the Athletes and provide a conducive
environment that will channelize their limited energies towards constructive progress. In other words, help remove the waste and redundancy from their lives and help them focus on their strengths.
Special Olympics is a constructive platform to identify the different strengths of these children in the field of sports & train them to discover these strengths & use them in order to flourish in their lives. I have seen Sanjana benefiting by participating in various sports events. Sports is giving her a sense of well-being & accomplishment, along with needless to say the visible health benefits. Siblings are in a position to sensitize.
We watch movies together, play Carrom. She beats me in Uno. She loves to dance. Play her a song from Bollywood and she takes no time in replicating it. She is an extrovert. If you don’t come up to her to start a conversation, she will! This is what her Coach, Rajashri Ghosalkar, National Trainer of Special Olympics Bharat has to say: Sanjana is keen to play BOCCE and Table Tennis and consciously follows the rules of the game. She has participated in State Level table tennis tournament and won Gold & Silver medals in Single Competition. Sanjana has participated in athletic competition with great enthusiasm. She has participated in the Khelo India games winning two Silver medals for the athletic track and field events. She has also participated in the Special Olympics Hasbro Fun Games Festival, having participated in the Unified Athletic Games. She has bagged a Gold medal for her energetic display and participation in the event that she qualified.
Sanjana is an active fun-loving and energetic athlete of SPJ Sadhana School. She is a visual and kinesthetic learner and has fantastic observation and imitational skills to follow demonstration of a game or an activity. During her training in sports at SPJ Sadhana School, she has started building friendship with her peers. In one of the track events at Annual sports meet, Sanjana was running ahead of all but suddenly she stopped & returned back to her friends on the track to complete the race together with them. Involvement and orientation in team games and individual games has been instrumental in grooming her into a good sports
It will help me witness the world through their eyes & hearts. We are fortunate to be living in a community which is very supportive of people with Intellectual Disabilities. My friends love Sanjana Written by Gayatri Pore, who loves to cook and is a professional dancer. She has completed Bachelor inKathak and is learning Bollywood contemporary and folk