The Philippines has started preparing to be among the Top 3 winners in the upcoming 2020 ASEAN Para Games in Manila.
“We’re preparing of course for the eventual 2020 hosting of the ASEAN Para Games,” Team Para Philippines chef de mission Francis “Kiko” Diaz was quoted saying in an article.
“Every time we engage and are given an opportunity to play in an international competition, dapat mahigitan na ang past performance natin so ‘pag gano’n thinking, hanggang No. 1, puwede natin makuha,” he added.
The Philippines has been ranked 11th place in this year’s para games with 10 gold medals from chess player Sander Severino and swimmer Ernie Gawilan.
It “leaped” from 23rd place in the 2014 ASEAN Para Games in Incheon.
“We’re looking at grassroots development. We need to improve on some younger players coming in, women coming in, other disability groups that have to be better represented,” shared Michael Barredos, president of the Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC), in the same article.
“It’s going to be a challenge because we will need close to about 200 athletes in the ASEAN Para Games we will host.”
Eleven Southeast Asian countries would be competing for 16 sports in the 2020 ASEAN Para Games in Manila then.
Having said that, the PPC organized “Sports Without Borders,” a series of orientations on paralympic sports with a goal of attracting differently-abled Filipinos into sports.
“I think with this accomplishment and achievement [the national para athletes] have done, [they] will be able to show to all Filipinos that people with disabilities are to be looked at not for their disabilities, but for their abilities,” Barredos added.
“We showed that Asian athletes showed inclusion in the area of Asia, and I think in the Philippines, they have just proven that through sports we can make this an inclusive society.” ~ Michael Barredos
Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the ABS-CBN Sports