Western Council of Special and Inclusive Educators (WESTCOSIE) National Games
The Western Council of Special and Inclusive Educators (WESTCOSIE) hosted the 2019 National Games. This is an annual event that looks into bringing children with special needs around Fiji together for three days sports and social night event. This year we saw a very big number of participants. The games had a total of 1750 students with special needs, 800 parents and 150 teachers making it a total of 2700 participants.
The organization of the National Games provided an opportunity to achieve the following Sustainable Development Goals(SDG). These goals are:
SDG 3: Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Wellbeing for all, at all Ages - Levels of physical inactivity are rising worldwide and, with 3.2 million deaths per year, it is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. Participation in sport reduces the risks of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases.
SDG 4: Ensure Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education and Promote Lifelong Learning Opportunities for All - The right to participate in quality sport, physical activity and physical education: Sport and physical activity are enshrined as a fundamental right in documents such as the International Charter of Physical Education and Sport. This ensured that children with special needs are included and they are provided an opportunity to participate in sporting events.
SDG 5: Achieve Gender Equality and empower all Women and Girls - Sport as a safe space to address gender issues: Engaging women and girls in sports projects can address issues such as sexual and reproductive health, gender-based violence and female leadership. We managed to achieve this goal by providing girls with the same opportinity to partipate in sporting events and empowering to participate in future events.
These games provide a platform to advocate and showcase the abilities and skills of students with special needs. The organization of this event was used as a tool to promote inclusive education and PEACE amongst all. The 2019 National Games can be considered a meet for the diverse group of students to come together as ONE.