Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 15 Dec 2018 12am

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    Friday, December 14, 2018-7:43:45A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Inaugural disability sports fest kicks off today

THE CNMI’s first disability sports festival kicks off today in separate locations.

The outrigger canoe race will launch at 9:30 from Minatchom Atdao pavilion, the boccia will be at the volleyball/baseball court and the sitting volleyball and the adaptive softball will see action at the Marianas High School Gymnasium.

The games will continue on Saturday with adaptive athletics in front of the gym.

The inaugural event, according to the governor’s office “celebrates diversity and inclusion.”

Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres emphasized the importance of celebrating diversity and creating a culture of inclusion throughout the Marianas.

“From the very beginning of this process, various agencies wanted to create more awareness and inclusion of students, our neighbors, and family members with disabilities. One of the biggest goals is how we could help each other succeed and fulfill our individual potentials no matter our abilities. Many times, we ignore or don’t know what to do when we interact with people with disabilities. The reality is we need to embrace diversity and provide these opportunities.

The CNMI Disability Network of partners and the Public School System is really the backbone of this project, and I thank everyone for their collaboration and hope we can see more of these events annually. This is a celebration for everyone to be take part in,” Governor Torres said.

The event is made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Office of the Governor and the Office of Grants Management and State Clearinghouse (OGM-SC), in partnership with the Lady Diann Torres Foundation, the CNMI Developmental Disabilities Council, the Center for Living Independently, Voices of the CNMI, the Northern Marianas Protection and Advocacy Systems Inc. (NMPASI), the Northern Marianas College University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (NMC-UCEDD), the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation Division of Public Health Services Maternal & Child Health Bureau (MCHB), Ayuda Network, the Community Guidance Center (CGC), the Office of Youth Affairs, the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs (DCCA), the National Family Caregiver Support Program, the Saipan Mayor’s Office, the Saipan Rotary Club, the Napu Outrigger Club, and the Public School System (PSS).

OGM-SC Administrator Epiphanio E. Cabrera Jr. stated that the CNMI Disability Sports Festival was funded through a $70,000 sub-grant under the Office of the Governor in an effort to bring all disability partners, advocates, and the community together.

“This festival really would not be possible without all our CNMI Disability Network partners and the Lady Diann Torres Foundation for their passion and time. At the end of the day, we hope to highlight the strength of our community and strengthen programs for individuals with disabilities going forward. We hope our community comes down to join us, witness the capabilities of those with disabilities, and celebrate sportsmanship,” Cabrera said.

According to First Lady Diann Torres, the sports festival will kick-off all the future plans to better serve individuals and families with disabilities.

“Since my days as a teacher, I continue to take an active role for the needs of our community with disabilities. Our partner agencies know that this is just one of many initiatives, and we plan to continue addressing their needs and providing opportunities for the entire community. I thank all our donors from the business community, Chairman Nick Gross, and the CNMI Public School System and all our participants from Tinian and Rota,” First Lady Diann said.