QUEZON CITY, Oct. 25 (PIA) - Athletes with disabilities are gearing-up for both the national and international games next year after months of postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as announced recently by Dennis G. Esta, Executive Director of the Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled - National Paralympics Committee (PhilSPADA-NPC).
Clinics in the regions have been launched to encourage talented individuals to get involved in sports. Trainers and coaches have also been doing their rounds to encourage and promote sports in the country, said Esta.
PhilSPADA-NCP has established regional chapters around the country long before the pandemic -- conducted para-sports orientation clinics to introduce paralympic sports, classification of athletes with disabilities, rules of different sports, officiating, and coaching -- and have successfully identified national differently-abled athletes who will receive rigorous training for local and international competitions, Esta added.
Further, Esta highlighted that all athletes have to pass through a series of competitions (inter-school, local, regional, and national level) to qualify for a higher level competition; thus, athletes never stopped training on their own amidst the many restrictions due to the present health crisis.
With the full implementation of Republic Act No. 10699 -- An Act expanding the coverage of incentives granted to national athletes and coaches, appropriating funds, therefor, repealing for the purpose Republic Act no. 9069, also known as the "National Athletes, Coaches and Trainers Benefits and Incentives Act of 2001" or "Sports Benefits and Incentives Act of 2001" -- both abled and differently-abled athletes received incentives in the last Paralympics; para swimmer Ernie Agat Gawilan competed at the 2016 Summer Paralympics and was the first gold medalist for the Philippines in the Asian Para Games bringing home 3 gold medals and 2 silver medals, and was awarded additional cash incentives not less than P4M.
National athletes receive year-round allowances of P10k-45k plus incentives, sports equipment, scientific training from coaches and trainers, and participation in international competitions.
The calendar of incoming international events is as follows:
Paralympics 2021 in Tokyo Japan
ASEAN Para Games 2021 in Hanoi Vietnam
4th Asian Youth Para Games 2021 in Bahrain
Asian Para Games 2022 in Hangzhou China
Winter Paralympic 2022 in China
ASEAN Para Games 2023 (TBA)
Paralympic Games 2024 in Paris, France
Asian Para Games 2026 in Nagoya Japan
PHILSPADA active sports are archery, athletics, badminton, powerlifting, sailing, cycling, chess, judo, boccia, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, triathlon, wheelchair basketball, ten pin bowling, and other ballgames. (MCG/PIA-IDPD/PHILSPADA)