The Embassy of the United States of America in Brunei Darussalam, in collaboration with the British High Commission, handed over 40 soccer balls to the Special Olympics Brunei Darussalam on Sunday morning. The donation took place during an Inclusive Fun Fest sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, and was designed to support disability rights, social inclusion and sports development.
At the handover ceremony, U.S. Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Caryn McClelland and Deputy British High Commissioner Catherine Pochkhanavala-Cleeve handed over 40 soccer balls to Special Olympics Brunei Darussalam chairman Lt. Col. (Rtd) Pengiran Haji Rambli bin Pengiran Haji Bunut. After the donation, Lt. Col. (Rtd) Pengiran Haji Rambli invited Ambassador McClelland and Deputy High Commissioner Pochkhanavala-Cleeve to participate in a friendly penalty shootout.
“On this International Day of Persons with Disabilities – and in the spirit of the FIFA World Cup – we are proud to partner with the British High Commission to re-affirm our shared commitment to protecting the rights of persons with disabilities,” said Ambassador McClelland. “The United States strives to be a model for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility to reflect one of our most fundamental values as a nation: That everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. We promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities, and work to ensure their full inclusion on an equal basis with others.”
Deputy British High Commissioner, Catherine Pochkhanavala-Cleeve said, “We’re delighted to partner with our friends at the U.S. Embassy to donate these footballs to the Special Olympics Brunei Darussalam on such an important day. December 3 marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities. It is a day to spread awareness and understanding of the experiences of people with disabilities and to recognize and value the diversity of our global community and the role we all play.”
Members of Special Olympics Brunei Darussalam, officials from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, as well as members of the public attended the donation handover ceremony.
The donation initiative was held in observance of the U.N. International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) and in the spirit of FIFA World Cup to demonstrate the United States and United Kingdom’s shared interest in advancing disability rights, social inclusion and sports development. Following a friendly social media rivalry around the USA versus England match at the FIFA World Cup on November 26, Ambassador McClelland invited the British High Commission to jointly donate soccer balls to the Special Olympics Brunei Darussalam.