Sub-Editors Column: Simon says – Back our special Athletes

simoncolBack our special Athletes
This week I have been out and about at various events across the district. As much as I would like to use this column to complain about how badly people have been parking near me, I would like to go on to something a bit more than just a rant (maybe look at that another edition).
One of the events I have been to this week was a civic reception for our successful Special Olympics team, who brought home 32 medals from the competition in Bath.
I don’t really envy the task of having to choose a charity, as there are so many doing important work out there, but it is moments like this where you have to congratulate our current Lord Mayor Councillor Khadim Hussain for choosing a charity such as Bradford Disability Sports and Leisure for his appeal this year and raising the awareness of their work.
Before he was officially sworn in as Lord Mayor, Councillor Hussain spoke passionately to me about his aims for this year. He said he wanted to do more to help people with disabilities and help them have a say in mainstream society.
It is charities like Bradford Disability Sports and Leisure who are helping to train these athletes for events such as the recent Special Olympics.
The Bradford team, which contained 24 athletes, was one of the smallest teams to attend and only had six coaches.
The medal haul, which earned them the civic reception, was the best in their history and shows that these athletes are worth our backing.
Not only does sport help give them confidence, but the athletes learn new skills that they can transfer into their career and day to day lives.
I have seen many people looking to back the Lord Mayor’s Appeal this year and if people continue to do this, it could help maintain and even improve our district’s athletes for years to come.
We have seen the good and bad in the district over the last few weeks. We have just witnessed Positive Bradford and seen a number of exciting books, shows and projects being launched or announced across the district.
Unfortunately, I feel I need to mention the bad. Now when I say bad, I mean the horrific details of Hamzah Khan case. The case is truly tragic and words cannot describe what Hamzah went through.
The court case has come to an end now but questions must now be asked on how this happened and why nothing was done. I have read the notes regarding how many ‘failed’ visits were made by officials. Everything we say now is in hindsight, but I find it hard to believe that if you have one meeting regarding a child’s safety, let alone three, you would make sure that the child in question was ok.
Last week, I was full of positivity but at times in this world, you unfortunately see the good, the bad and the ugly.

Until next time…

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