Children with disability not left out of sports

TPCC Using Sports To Spice Life For Children With Special Needs

By Mainimo Etienne

It is Wednesday and time for sports at Timely Performance Care Center, TPCC, a center located at the Damas neighbourhood in Yaounde, Cameroon. Children are seen directed to the playground. Those who can’t move are supporter as well to feel the atmosphere of doing sports.

At the playground, instructions are dished out and play starts. Teachers are actively involved in sports as children run from one corner of the playground to another throwing and catching a basketball. In fact, they are playing basketball.

From a distance, everybody is involve in sports but getting closer, those who are not actively involved in playing are doing something else. Others are completely out of sports crying or doing very funny things but doing what is comfortable for them.

Teachers are busy, in fact very busy coordinating the children who have different disabilities. Even though some of these children siting and wearing worried faces, many of them are happy playing around.

Over an hour of playing and socialising, children are back in class for a virtual lesson. In their different classrooms, they are siting and following virtual lesion on a television set.

A talk with some of the teachers in the school revealed that while some of the children started schooling at TPCC, a majority of them were driven away from normal schools because teachers there could not handle their hyperactive nature.

“We have quite a number of pupils here who were send away from normal schools because teachers could not understand them. Some like Bryan Bissona Lima and Leopold Noubrissi are some examples among the many that we have”, Brendaline Tani, head teacher of TPCC said.

“Many of them have different disabilities ranging from autism to hyperactive, Down syndrome, dyslexia as well as processing disorders. However, some of them have improved even though it is a gradual process”, the teacher adds.

“It is not easy working with them but the love we have for them is pushing us to work towards the complete wellbeing. These children have right to everything and it is time we start seeing them as human being and children with great future. Many of them have hidden talents,” TPCC head teacher said.

To Linda Saomo, a teacher at TPCC, “Some of these children need our help and I think this center is giving them hope. It is true that the change is not that fast but just the fact the children can belong and socialize is helping them a lot.” 

Larrissa Abang Sih, a class six pupil preparing to write First School Leaving Certificate this year said after her final exam, she would work hard to become a secretary in the future. A child who was sent away from Government School because of her state can write now and talk thanks to TPCC.