Gujarat: 2nd National Down Syndrome Games Secured 14 Medals; 2 Gold, 7 Silver, and 5 Bronze Medals: ‘World Down Syndrome Day’

Every year, March 21 marks World Down Syndrome Day, a day dedicated to celebrating individuals with Down syndrome. This year’s theme for the celebration is “Ending Stereotypes.” Setting a precedent at the national level, the National Down Syndrome Games 2024 were organized in Gurugram, Haryana, showcasing the talents of children and adults with Down syndrome. 

Eight children from Gujarat participated in various events such as softball, skating, swimming, and walking races, securing multiple medals and bringing glory to Gujarat. These children, representing the Down syndrome community, competed in the Special Child category. 

While typically developing children are capable of winning medals, the triumph of Gujarat’s athletes highlights their exceptional abilities and illuminates the state’s name on the national stage.

Understanding Down Syndrome: Challenges and Strengths

Every year, March 21st is recognized worldwide as World Down Syndrome Day. Down syndrome is a congenital condition characterized by slow physical and cognitive development compared to typically developing children. The manifestation of individuals with Down syndrome may differ slightly from the norm due to this inherent condition. 

It occurs due to a genetic anomaly, with statistics showing that one in every thousand live births results in a child with Down syndrome, indicating its global prevalence. In India, the incidence of Down syndrome is also on the rise. 

These special children exhibit slower physical and cognitive development but often display heightened enthusiasm and engagement in various activities. They may also experience frustration due to their slower pace.

Understanding Down Syndrome

Understanding Down Syndrome

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by an extra chromosome and is present from birth in children. It is also referred to as Trisomy 21. Down syndrome is a genetic anomaly where an extra copy of chromosome 21 (Trisomy 21) results in variations in genetic material, leading to the manifestation of the syndrome in affected individuals. 

While medical interventions can address some of the associated health concerns, there is no cure for Down syndrome, and treatment remains supportive throughout life. Down syndrome presents distinct facial features, intellectual disabilities, and developmental delays. It may also be associated with thyroid or heart conditions.

Empowering Individuals with Down Syndrome through Sports Training

In the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, individuals with Down syndrome, both children and adults, are being provided sports training to equip them for competition alongside their peers. This initiative aims to enhance their abilities to compete with other children. 

Through various sports activities, individuals with Down syndrome are not only improving their physical fitness but also nurturing their mental development. At the national level, the 2nd National Down Syndrome Games 2024 were held in Gurugram, Haryana, on March 15th and 16th, 2024. 

Eight children from Gujarat participated in these games. These children from Gujarat showcased their skills in various sports and clinched a total of 14 medals, bringing pride to the state of Gujarat.

Born Athletes Sports Academy: Empowering Children with Down Syndrome

In Ahmedabad, the Born Athletes Sports Academy for Special and Children currently caters to 15 children with Down syndrome. These children represented Gujarat in the National Down Syndrome Games 2024, where they achieved remarkable success. 

Among them, Gujarat’s contingent secured a notable tally of medals, including 2 gold, 7 silver, and 5 bronze medals. The National Down Syndrome Games 2024 featured events such as the 100-meter dash, swimming, skating, softball, badminton, and more, where children from Gujarat excelled and brought home medals, showcasing their talent and determination.

Training Children with Down Syndrome for Special Olympics Presents Challenges

Siddharthsingh Rajput, who prepares children with Down syndrome for the National Games, told Divya Bhaskar, “Providing training for sports activities, especially to children with special needs and particularly those with Down syndrome, can be somewhat challenging compared to training typical children. 

This is because while typical children may grasp a concept after being taught once or twice and then execute it, children with Down syndrome often need to learn a single concept repeatedly and in a very calm manner before they understand and perform it. 

Additionally, the level of frustration tends to be higher in special children compared to typical ones, so it’s essential to keep them very happy and engaged to encourage their participation in any activity.”

Excitement Essential for Enjoying Games

Yug Soni, a student with Down syndrome, expressed, “I feel very happy. Winning a medal has added to my joy. It’s important for all children to feel excited about playing games. 

Besides myself, other special children should also excel in sports and bring glory to our nation. My wish is to represent our country at the international level and shine our nation’s name.”

Extra Talent in Our Children

A mother of a child with Down syndrome expressed, “I have two children, one of whom has Down syndrome while the other is typical. However, having Down syndrome does not make my older child any less. Winning a medal has not only made my family proud but has also brought glory to Gujarat. 

We continue to provide him with complete encouragement. Down syndrome is due to Trisomy 21, which means an extra chromosome. 

Similarly, in our child, there is also extra talent. Due to this, he has the ability to excel in various areas. Winning a medal has illuminated Gujarat’s name and shows his potential to shine our country’s name in the future. 

Having Down syndrome doesn’t mean he has any shortcomings, but rather, he has been given more by God. Hence, with proper training, he can function like any other typical child.”

Rasesh Nageshwar

Hi there! I'm Rasesh Nageshwar, and I'm passionate to write about entertainment, movies, web series, and sports. As a writer, I love sharing my insights and opinions on the latest trends, news, and events in these exciting fields.