The 27th Annual Aidex Sports Festival Celebrates Athletes with a Difference
July 20th, 2018
Chatham Street, Arcade Independence Square, Negombo Beach
The Colombo Friend in Need Society (CFINS), in collaboration with Dilmah, held the 27th successive AIDEX Annual Sports Festival 2017 last October at the Prisons Grounds (Leslie Ranagala Mawatha, Colombo 8). Last year marked the 186th anniversary of the CFIS, Sri Lanka’s oldest charitable organization. Founded by Bishop Turner in 1831, its motto is, “They shall not suffer”.
The event saw 400 athletes from across the country participate in a wide range of disciplines comprising bicycle races and 63 track and field events including 100, 200 and 400 meter races, putt shot, long jump, discus throw and archery. Participants included veterans of the armed forces, civilians and children.
In a world that is predominantly designed for the fully-abled, it is imperative to create opportunities for those disadvantaged by congenital defects, disease, accident and conflict to compete on equal footing. Internationally, most societies now accept and actively contribute to the societal and moral need of equating the disadvantaged with the advantaged. The confidence and sense of dignity that come with the knowledge that they contribute equally to society are just as important for these individuals as economic independence. Assistance and facilitation to make the transition from dependence to independence, allowing them to support their own families, is of vital importance. The MJF Charitable Foundation has, over the years, enabled many such individuals to engage in a broad spectrum of private enterprises through its Small Entrepreneur Programme (SEP).
This event aimed to encourage the public to empower these individuals to showcase their talents, overcoming their seeming inadequacy and affirming that the spirit of the differently-abled is as strong and competitive as the fully-abled.