Soca Artist Darryl "Farmer Nappy" Henry weeps as he embraces Stefan Bartholomew, a pupil of the National Centre for Persons With Disabilities (NCPD), during PowerGen's 22nd Special Children's Fun Day at PowerGen's Penal Sports Grounds, Syne Village in Penal yesterday.

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A day for our special children

By SANDHYA SANTOO sandhya.santoo@trinidadexpress.com

Thousands gathered at the 22nd annual Special Children’s Fun day
yesterday in Penal, hosted by the Power Generation Company of Trinidad and Tobago (PowerGen).

Thirty six schools from Trinidad, Tobago and one from Barbados part took in the annual fun day hosted by PowerGen. They danced, sang and participated in sporting events. There was heavy police presence and close to 4000 attendees at the event of students, parents, teachers and PowerGen staff.

Minister of Energy Senator Kevin Ramnarine, Minister in the Ministry of the People and Social Development Vernella Alleyne-Toppin and Minister of state in the Minister of Works and Infrastructure Stacy Roopnarine attended the event. But it was Darryl "Farmer Nappy" Henry's performance during the lunch interval that stole show. He later told the Express that the reaction of the children has change his outlook on life.

Alleyne-Toppin delivered remarks on behalf of the Prime Minister, who was carded to attend but could not make it. Alleyne-Toppin said that teaching children with special needs was rewarding, as it was a place where one could find empathy. She said that in the past she aided the training of special needs teachers and found it to be fulfilling. She praised the effort of PowerGen for hosting the fun day for the children and hopes that it will continue.

Ramnarine said that he was very pleased with what he saw. He said that not many are fortunate enough, and to have PowerGen lend its support was an excellent initiative. Ramnarine said the Energy Ministry had a booth at the event exhibiting its renewable energy supply with solar panels. The solar panel was shown charging a car battery as a means of sustainable eco-friendly energy.

Anna Richardson-Thomas, Business Operation Assistant I at the Lady Hochoy School, Cocorite said that the children do not view the events as competitive, but as fun. She said that the sporting activities helps to engage the mind of students and allowed them the opportunity to interact with children from other schools.

The atmosphere was full of energy as the children walked past the judges for the March Past. They students were judged based on best dress, best banner, best mascot and best impact. Each group gave an impressive performance portraying several themes of sporting heroes, nature, politics, and Easter. The events included rabbit hop, sack race, water reply, meter races and more.

Chairman of PowerGen, Indarjit Singh said that the event gave PowerGen the opportunity to pay tribute to the differently abled youths of the nation. He also acknowledged the commitment of teachers and parents who have dedicated themselves to the special children.
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