MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. gave Filipino paralympic athletes a presidential sendoff, wishing them good luck as they compete in the 11th Asean Para Games set from July 30 to Aug. 6 in Solo, Indonesia.
“I would just like to send my good luck wishes to Team Philippines who are flying now to the 11th Asean Para Games,” Marcos said in a video message on Saturday.
He expressed confidence that they would also match the success of other Filipino athletes in the previous international events.
“At siguro naman mapapantayan ninyo ang mga success story na nakita natin sa ating mga ibang atleta na nakipag laban sa mga international games na kagaya nito. Good luck sa inyong lahat at ako’y nakakasiguro na pasisikatin nanaman ninyo ang Pilipinas (And maybe you can match the success stories we have seen in our other athletes who fought in international games like this. Good luck to all of you and I am sure that you will make the Philippines famous again),” he added.
The biennial multi-sport event will be participated by 2,309 delegates consisting of 1,648 athletes and 661 officials from 11 countries in Southeast Asia namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Lest and Vietnam.
Indonesia volunteered as the host after the cancellation of the 2019 Asean Para Games in the Philippines and the withdrawal of Vietnam as the host of the 2022 Asean Para Games.
This would be the first international competition for Filipino Paralympic athletes after the 2019 edition was cancelled and the 2021 edition was moved this year.
The last edition they competed in was in 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where the country won 20 gold, 20 silver and 29 bronze medals.
The Philippine contingent will compete in 12 sports -- archery (9 athletes), athletics (24), badminton (9), boccia (4), chess (22), goalball (6), judo (6), powerlifting (8), sitting volleyball (10), swimming (12), table tennis (13), wheelchair basketball men (12), and wheelchair basketball women (4). They are accompanied by 38 coaches and 40 team officials.
The Philippine Sports Commission granted a total of PHP51.2 million in financial assistance to fully support the campaign of the 222-man Philippine Para Team delegation. (PNA)