• Filipino paralympians awarded at the London games’ anniversary

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    The British Embassy recently hosted the celebration of the London 2012 legacy a year after the opening of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the UK, with awards given to the paralympians of the Philippines: (First row) Agustin Kitan (Powerlifting), Luis Jose Arellano (PhilSPADA president), Marites Burce (Athletics), Achelle Guion (Powerlifting); (second row) Lawrence Plata (Shadowfax Events general manager), Michael Barredo (PhilSPADA chairman), Isidro Vildosola (Athletics), Andy Avellana (Athletics), Jolly Gomez (Philippine Sports Commission Commissioner) Carlos Vilchez (SM Aura Premier Mall manager) and British Embassy Chargé d’ Affaires Trevor Lewis

    Nine Filipino Paralympians were honored during the launching of a fun run that coincided with the celebration of the first anniversary of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and its legacy. Held on July 30 at the third level Atrium of SM Aura Premier, the event was organized by Shadowfax Events in cooperation with the British Embassy, SM Aura Premier and Philippine Sports Association for the Differently-Abled (PhilSPADA).

    The Filipinos who competed in the London 2012 Paralympic Games were Marites Burce (Athletics); Isidro Vildosola (Athletics); Andy Avellana (Athletics); Achelle Guion (Powerlifting); Agustin Kitan (Powerlifting); Roger Tapia (Athletics); Josephine Medina (Table Tennis); Beariza Ma Roble (Swimming) and Adeline Ancheta (Powerlifting).

    British Embassy Chargé d’ Affaires Trevor Lewis said: “I congratulate the nine Filipinos who represented their country in the London 2012 Paralympics. They are shining examples of courage, perseverance and the indomitable spirit—traits that every athlete, whatever their ability, must possess. They are truly a credit to their country and we wish them well today, as we did just over a year ago when they left to compete in London.

    “We hope that in the near future, para athletes across the globe will receive the same level of support as their able-bodied counterparts. The blueprint of the London 2012 Games is helping push para sports into the mainstream, placing them on equal ground with traditional sporting activities. More importantly, London 2012 has changed attitudes to people with disabilities, focusing on their abilities rather than dwelling on their physical limitations.

    “Around this time last year the world witnessed a golden summer of sport. The London 2012 Games delivered what it set out to do, an important part of which was promoting our values of inclusion, equality and diversity. We held the most accessible and inclusive Games ever with the Paralympic and Olympic Games planning and organization being fully integrated from the beginning for the first time. Disability access was incorporated into the design and structure of the buildings, open spaces and public transport and everything was done in consultation with the disability advisory group. Beyond the Paralympics, we opened up disability sport by supporting school children by making disability sport a central part of the school games.”

    In response, PhilSPADA Philippines Chairman Michael Barredo thanked the organizers and stated, “We hope that the spirit of the London 2012 Games will carry on to Rio and beyond, giving equal attention to the Olympics and the Paralympics. Para-athletes work as hard, or if not even more, as our able-bodied counterparts to give pride to our country, so we hope to see them enjoy the same treatment. We hope that more people will be inspired and continue to support our efforts towards the promotion and development of sports for persons with disabilities and the Paralympic movement.”

    The awarding was followed by the launch of the third and final leg of the Run for Pinoy Glory series. Dubbed “Run for Pinoy Glory 2013—A gift to our Filipino Paralympians,” the fundraising activity will be held on September 8 at the Camp Aguinaldo Grandstand in Quezon City.

    Proceeds from the previous fun runs were awarded to PhilSPADA, which serves as the country’s National Paralympic Committee.

    A Paralympics legacy photo exhibit was also launched at the same event, which highlights the values of diversity, equality and inclusion. The photo exhibit was on view at the SM Aura Premier and will move on to selected SM SuperMalls within Metro Manila.

    Finally, Shadowfax Events general anager Lawrence Plata concluded the spirited gathering with the words, “This final leg will again harness the bayanihan spirit to honor our Filipino Paralympians. We are encouraging people from all walks of life—athletes and non-athletes, able-bodies and differently-abled—to join us in support of the Paralympians who inspire and bring glory to the nation.

    “Your participation will certainly boost the morale of our para athletes, to show that there are people out there rooting for their success”

    Registration for the run will start on August at selected Chris Sports Outlets and Fitness and Athletics in Bonifacio Global City. The three categories to choose from are 3 kilometer, 5 kilometer and 10 kilometer.

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