E.Earlier this year, Amy Bockerstette made history when she became the first person with Down syndrome to compete in a national college sports championship, one of the most prestigious golfing events in the United States.
Since then, Amy has been a global star and an inspiration to millions of children with Down syndrome around the world. And that includes Pakistan.
If you visit the Karachi Golf Club’s driving range in the evening, you might meet a little girl with glasses who beats with a dexterous instinct. She is Alaiya who comes to the KGC regularly with her father. Alaiya has Down syndrome, but that doesn’t stop her from emulating her father, who recently played golf himself.
Alaiya, who will be 11 years old next month, is slowly but surely getting a feeling for it.
“She is interested in it and likes the idea of practicing her strokes with me on the shooting range,” says her father Ali Allawala. Ali is co-founder of the Karachi Down Syndrome Program (KDSP) with his wife Farzeen. One of the reasons he started playing golf is because of KDSP’s association with the sport. A few years ago, KDSP started its fundraising golf tournament at KGC. It turned out to be a great success.
Recently, dozens of golfers gathered at the picturesque Karachi Golf Club to play the third edition of the tournament to support KDSP in its “A Drive for Inclusive Education” campaign. “Golf as a sport is becoming increasingly popular in the Down syndrome community around the world. The golfing community in Pakistan is known for supporting several charitable initiatives over the years. We thought of golf as a great way to raise awareness of the work of KDSP and the support we received from it was just great, ”Ali said in an interview with The News on Sunday.
“The response from the golf community to our tournament was excellent. We have tried to have a high quality event annually that has been gratefully recognized by all golfers and supporters who have participated in our endeavors. We are very grateful for everyone’s generosity and encouragement in the cause. “
Golf and Down syndrome have made international headlines thanks to the heroics of Amy Bockerstette. Does Ali believe that children with Down syndrome in Pakistan can also play golf competitively?
“People with Down syndrome are able to do extraordinary things. Playing golf is no exception. Amy Bockerstette’s achievements are proof of this. She’s a superstar to us and a great inspiration for all of us to follow, ”he said.
In the meantime, KDSP hosted its annual fundraiser – the KDSP Golf Tournament 2021 at KGC. With Candyland as the title partner on board, the event brought experienced golfers together for an exciting game of golf and raised awareness and support for educational initiatives for people with Down syndrome.
The game was followed by a short presentation and awards ceremony where Samar Naqvi, Chief Executive Officer – KDSP, took the stage to deliver a short video and heartfelt speech on the importance of inclusion and educational opportunities for all.
She noted, “We remain true to our intent and vision and are dedicated to creating an inclusive world order in which people with Down syndrome live their best lives. It may all be so easy to really see a person for who they are without looking for differences, but in a world full of rifts there are clearly many complications. Because we are familiar with the range and intensity of concerns faced by parents and caregivers of people with Down syndrome, we realize that they all actually have a common search, a strong commonality, a thread that connects them , something they are all looking for: His reassurance. All they need is someone to tell them it is okay or it is okay, who will acknowledge their concerns, offer them solutions, and the progress they have made, the results of their efforts, or the fruits of theirs Recognizes work. “
The ceremony was attended by golfers and valued guests, including the main guest – First Lady of Pakistan Samina Alvi, who spoke positively about the cause and pledged to continue supporting KDSP’s initiatives for people with Down syndrome and their families.
She commented, “Making Pakistan an inclusive society where people with disabilities are accepted, included and given equal opportunities to live full and independent lives is a dream for the President and me. Today it is with great pleasure for me to see that the Karachi Down Syndrome Program is leading the way for inclusion by providing holistic services to people with Down syndrome and their families. “