The Perak’s State Council of Social Development held an Abilympics (vocational skills competition) recently at the premises of Sultan Azlan Shah Rehabilitation Centre in Bercham.
As a member of the International Abilympcis Federation, the Malaysian Rehabilitation Council aims to build a team consisting of qualified contestants to represent Malaysia in the International Abilympics.
The competition is also intended to create public awareness and to nurture productive talents out of those with disabilities by providing them opportunities to acquire and enhance their vocational skills.
The competition brought in 22 participants from in and around Ipoh to compete in eight categories, which included cake decoration, word processing, dressmaking and more. A panel of judges were present to evaluate and give suggestions to the contestants.
One of the judges, Chef Syed Redzuan Syed Muhammad, 58, said that he was pleasantly surprised because the participants really exceeded his expectations when they decorated their cakes with precision and creativity.
“They should not be underestimated and deserved a chance to be employed just like the rest of us. I was particularly amazed and impressed when one of the participants, Yau Sin Lim, who is mentally challenged, was able to mix and match coloured threads that suited the embroidery well,” exclaimed Zawiah Zulkifli, the judge in the embroidery category.
Through this first ever Abilympics, the State Council of Social Development has achieved its goal of providing the disabled with opportunities and avenues to lead meaningful lives and become contributing members of society.