TeamSG ends ASEAN Para Games on a high  

After a week of intense competition, the 12th ASEAN Para Games concluded successfully last Thursday (June 8). And through sheer grit and determination, our para-athletes brought home 44 medals (12 Gold, 15 Silver and 17 Bronze), breaking multiple new Games and National Records and achieving new Personal Bests.  

It is a proud moment for Singapore, and congratulating the athletes and the team of officials, coaches and trainers, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong noted that Singapore had done very well for a small contingent. In particular, he also gave a shout-out to the Soon siblings (Colin and Sophie), who slayed the Games with 7 Gold medals between them.  

But thankfully, we do not have to wait too long before seeing our para-athletes in action. Hardly taking a break from their training, many of them will be preparing for the 4th Asian Para Games in October this year!  

Building inclusivity through sports 

Sport is a galvanising force with the power to change lives. But for persons with disabilities (PwDs), participation in sports can be more than a leisure activity. It is about empowerment and well-being, encouraging society to view PwDs positively and dispelling the notion that associates them with a static and sedentary lifestyle. After all, leading an active (and healthier) lifestyle is a right, not a privilege.  

For that reason, the Government is committed to raising awareness and increasing the accessibility of sports to PwDs.  

Following the launch of the Disability Sports Master Plan in 2016, an increasing number of ActiveSG gyms and swimming pools are now fitted with adaptive fitness equipment and retrofitted with wheelchair ramps. In addition, there is now an expansion of sports programmes for PwDs, which includes the Play-Ability programme and the annual Play Inclusive event.  

While these are all strides in the right direction, we can always do more and do better to support sports participation for PwDs at all levels. And that goal is at the core of a ForwardSG conversation held earlier this month, where various stakeholders (athletes, coaches, parents, and organisations) convened to discuss improvements to the Disability Sports Master Plan.  

“Through the exchange of ideas and expertise, we hope to explore innovative solutions and review our plans for a more robust one that meets the diverse needs and aspirations of not just our athletes with disabilities but the wider community of persons with disabilities too,” shared Minister Tong who helmed the session.  

Ideally, we would see more and more PwDs participating in recreational sports at the community level, alongside everybody else without raising eyebrows. As a community, we are still on this journey. And with a Government committed to championing inclusivity as part of a renewed social compact, there is no doubt that we will get there.  

Photo Source: Edwin Tong/Eric Chua via Facebook