PANAJI: Special Olympics Bharat will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Xaxti Riders, to nurture cycling talents among children with intellectual disabilities, states a press release.

This was revealed by Victor Vaz, the National Sports Director of Special Olympics Bharat, at a function organised by Xaxti Riders on Sunday, October 2, 2022 at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao to celebrate the Margao-based cycling club’s fifth anniversary.

“We will work together with Xaxti Riders to train young talent from Goa who will eventually represent India at the Special Olympics World Games in cycling,” Vaz revealed.

According to Vaz, so far 382 Indians have won gold, silver and bronze medals at these Games, of which 19 have been from Goa.

Special Olympics Bharat is the officially-recognised programme of Special Olympics International operating in India. It uses sports as a catalyst to transform the lives of children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

On the occasion, Xaxti Riders presented five cycles, helmets and jerseys to the students of Gujarati Samaj School for Intellectually disabled children, Margao and felicitated 11 students and coaches from Special Schools who represented Goa at the recently-held Special Olympics National Coaching Camp and Selection Trials in Cycling for the forthcoming Special World Games, 2023.

“We are truly grateful to Xaxti Riders for donating these cycles to our students”, acknowledged Mukesh Saglani, Chairman, Gujarati Samaj School for Special Children, Margao.

Intellectually Disabled children and their coaches with guests. Seated from left to right are: Dr Edward D’mello, Senior Physician – South Goa District Hospital), Victor Vaz (National Sports Director, Special Olympics Bharat), Mukesh Saglani (Chairman – Gujarati Samaj School for Special Children), Carlton Gomes (ex-India Hockey Goalkeeper) and Sasindran Nair (Managing Committee Member of Ashadeep Special School).  

Dr Edward D’Mello, senior physician, South Goa District Hospital, Margao highlighted the health benefits of cycling.

“Let’s celebrate the World Heart Day in right earnest by regularly exercising and restricting diets,” Dr D’Mello affirmed, cautioning that “there is no time to wait and need to start early on, since the heart problems are beginning to affect the younger population.”

Xaxti Riders is a hugely-popular cycling club in South Goa. Over the years, it has built up a sizeable biking community and has inspired a generation of young riders and cycling enthusiasts. It organises daily and weekend rides to induce fitness and reduce stress.


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