The Sunday Leader

Gold Medallist Mahé Drysdale Auctions Winning Jersey In Colombo For Charity

Drysdale about to part with his winning jersey and Drysdale with the children at the Dream Center

Gold Medallist at the 2012 Olympics and five-time Rowing World Champion Mahé Drysdale auctioned his Olympic Jersey in Colombo in a bid to raise funds for Children affected by Cerebral Palsy.
The sporting idol who is in the island on an invitation by t-sips, raised Rs. 2.35m for the Cerebral Palsy Lankan Foundation (CPLF) by auctioning his winning jersey.
The Olympian contributed to this worthy cause at a dinner in Colombo, hosted by t-sips, a brand by Expo Lanka Teas.
Representatives from the rowing community, the corporate sector, CPLF were among those present at the fund raising event.
Most rowing schools were also represented at the event, giving young oarsmen and women a unique opportunity to meet the sporting legend.
As the t-sips’s flagship CSR initiative the brand has been supporting the Cerebral Palsy Lanka Foundation to create awareness about the condition and a better environment for affected children.
Earlier in the day, the Olympian together with t-sips visited ‘The Dream’ Center’ for Children with Cerebral Palsy, in Wattala -the first organization in Sri Lanka for persons with the condition – in a bit to raise awareness. Children at the Dream Center got a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet and interact with the world sporting legend.
During his visit, Drysdale interacted with children and distributed gifts to them. He expressed his deep interest to support the cause together with t-sips.
The CPLF was founded 6th October 2011 with the objective of providing educational and therapeutic services for children with Cerebral Palsy and associated movement disorders.
Director and Chief Executive Officer of t-sips, Dhilshad Sideek speaking about the condition said, “We believe, as a responsible corporate entity we have a duty to create awareness about Cerebral Palsy, create a better living condition for these children and give them the gift of happiness whenever and where ever possible.”
“There is a lot we can do for them. Children with Cerebral Palsy do best when they get special help at an early age. While there is no known cure for Cerebral Palsy, there are many treatments and therapies, which can reduce the impact of the condition by easing symptoms such as spasticity, improving communication skills and finding alternate ways to function daily.  Physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy also play an important part.” Sideek said.
The Dream Center, which began with three children now has 18 children from the ages of 3-13, and has six teachers and a Physiotherapist supporting them.  The center offers treatment, therapy and an educational curriculum to its children. The First center was started in Wattala and the second at Moratuwa.
Earlier this year t-sips through Expolanka Teas supported The National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Week 2012, which was organized by CPLF in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Society of Physiotherapy.
t-sips has a thee year mission to establish three more Dream Centers in the Kaluthara, Colombo and Gampaha districts. t-sips believes that this will create a better environment for children with Cerebral Palsy in these areas and also leading to job opportunities in these areas.
About Cerebral Palsy
It is a common misconception that a child born with Cerebral Palsy cannot have any hope of leading a normal life.  However, t-sips believe that there is tremendous potential for these children despite their health condition, to lead a fulfilled life with hope.  With this objective at heart, the brand is supporting the ‘The Dream’ Center for Children with Cerebral Palsy to encourage the children in their challenging journey through life.
While the exact cause for Cerebral Palsy cannot be determined, doctors believe it may be caused due to the interference of a child’s normal brain development or an injury to the brain tissues when the baby is still growing in the womb, during birth or shortly after. This disrupts the nerve signals between the brain and the muscles, leading to problems with movement, posture and coordination as the child grows up and is called Cerebral Palsy. While some people are severely affected, others have only minor disruption, depending on which parts of the brain are not functioning properly.
According to CPLF in the developed world, six cerebral palsy cases occur per 1000 births while in Sri Lanka this figure stands high at around 12 to 15 cases per 1000 births. According to available statistics in Sri Lanka, there are around 40,000 children in the country affected by Cerebral Palsy, with many unreported cases.

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