Singapore’s para-athletes can now train in the same facilities as able-bodied athletes
Para-athletes representing Singapore in this year’s ASEAN Para Games (APG) will definitely be delighted with some of the changes that have been occurring in the lead up to the games.
The 21-member team for this year’s APG were able to experience training support, including video analysis and sports science for the first time. This routine is similar to what able-bodied athletes go through.
The switching of Singapore’s national para table tennis team’s training base from Yishun Sports Hall to the Singapore Sports Institute (SSI) at the Sports Hub is just an example of the changes.
Although the change in training bases is not permanent, this is something Singapore’s chef-de-mission Raja Singh wants to see more of.
Mr Singh also echoed the sentiments of Singapore National Olympic Council President Tan Chuan-Jin, who aims to create a more inclusive society that does not turn a blind eye to people with physical disabilities.
A change in the right direction
Singapore’s change in the treatment of para-athletes signals a positive change in mindset. Looks like we are taking steps to create a more inclusive society that accepts people of all abilities and include them as part of our daily lives.
This is a much needed step in the right direction for equality. Para-athletes deserve equal recognition if they are to be considered as serious athletes. With recognition, comes awareness — allowing more people to sit up and take notice of their achievements.
The upcoming ASEAN Para Games is a perfect platform for our nation to showcase our increased support of para-athletes. Singapore can be a model example for other countries to follow suit, which will only add to the prestige of the games and enhance the reputation of para-athletes.
The changes might also inspire other Singaporeans with disabilities to want to be para-athletes. More will see the recognition and pride that comes with being a para-athlete, helping enlarge the talent pool of Singapore’s para-athletes.
Support is key to success
While the changes are a step in the right direction, Singapore must nonetheless continue to support our para-athletes.
And what better way to do that, than by heading down to catch our athletes in action as they strive to bring glory to our nation in the upcoming Asean Para Games.
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