Submitted by Editor on Sat, 2016-07-02 18:40 Manipal: The two-day Special Olympics in volleyball and basketball to select state teams for the nationals began at Manipal University on Saturday. The championships were formally inaugurated by the Registrar, Dr Narayana Sabhahit at Marena. Eight teams, four each in men’s and women’s volleyball and basketball, are taking part. Addressing the gathering, Dr Sabhahit said contestants participating in Special Olympics had brought more laurels to India from Olympic competitions than others. “We need to encourage and support them in every way. We also need to remove the social stigma concerning special children,” he said. The torch bearer was Kavitha of Asare, which is jointly organising the event along with Manipal University. Vasanth Kumar Shetty, Area Director of Special Olympics Bharat-Karnataka, spoke about Special Olympics at the state and the national levels while Jai Vittal thanked the university for the support extended in organising the event. He urged parents, guardians and teachers of the special kids to encourage the children to take part in such events. “That will do a lot of good for these children,” he said.