The fifth ASEAN Para Games are on many athletes’ calendars in Southeast Asia this summer, taking place from 15-19 August in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where about 1,200 athletes and officials will be part of the big event.
Considered the biggest multi-sports and multi-disability sporting event for athletes with a disability in the ASEAN region, the ASEAN Para Games have been organized every two years since the formation of the ASEAN Para Sports Federation (APSF) in 2001. A total of ten APSF members plus Timor Leste will be participating in the Games this year.
Many Paralympic sports are on the programme this year, including Athletics, Powerlifting, Sailing, Swimming, Table Tennis, Sitting Volleyball, Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Tennis. Top venues around the town are expected to have filled seats, as the athletes will show the audience what they have been training for the past months.
For 2009, participating countries will include Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam and Timor Leste. The official Opening and Closing Ceremonies will take place at the Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil, with several distinguished guests attending in support of the event.
The vision of the 5th ASEAN Para Games is “United, inspired and enlightened in body, mind and spirit by its passion for the Para Games and the excitement displayed by the Paralympic athletes recognizing the rights and the aspirations of the disabled in sports and in life, effectively contributing to the ASEAN dream”.
The first ASEAN Para Games were also held in Kuala Lumpur from 25-30 October 2001 and were the initial major sports event of the APSF. The following Games were held two years later in Hanoi, Vietnam, in December, with subsequent Games in Manila, Philippines, and Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, respectively.
Sanctioned events by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) include Athletics, Swimming and Powerlifting.