A contingent of 117 para-athletes, 25 coaches, and 14 officials will compete in the 9th Asean Para Games 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on September 17 to 23.
The Philippine Team supported by the Philippine Sports Commission will compete in 12 sports – athletics, archery, badminton, boccia, chess, cycling, goalball, powerlifting, swimming, table tennis, tenpin bowling, and wheelchair basketball.
“Our participation is significant and will show the progress we have made in the Paralympic movement and para-sports in our country. Our team has been training hard and we have streamlined operations so that we can better support our athletes, so we expect to perform well,” said Philippine Paralympic Committee President Mike Barredo.
“Also, we are hosting the 10th ASEAN Para Games in 2019 so we will participate and note what Malaysia does well and translate these to our hosting efforts,” he added.
Leading the team is 2016 Rio Paralympics table tennis bronze medalist Josephine Medina, who in spite of being afflicted with polio learned and competed against able bodied athletes to hone her craft.
“Big things are happening in parasports here. We just had our Para Sports Summit with a theme ‘Breaking barriers through sports’ last June 9; which re-oriented all parasports stake holders so that we can unify our efforts. At that Summit, we also launched the ALAY PARA ATLETA, a text based fund raising campaign that will allow us to use texting and gaming to generate donations for the Paralympic movement,” Barredo continued.
The PPC along with Philspada (Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled), the National Sports Association of PPC is being re-organized to better define roles of the National Paralympic Committee to, in turn, effectively meet the demands, requirements, and problems that beset parasports in the country. “I am hopeful that this new group will be more productive and responsive and bring Philippine parasports to new heights.”
Another notable accomplishment the country has had in the Paralympics is Adeline Ancheta’s bonze in the Bench press at the 200 Sydney Paralympics. Past ASEAN Para Games campaigns have been modest successes, which this year’s team hopes to surpass.