On 20 January, the fourth Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Para Games were opened with a colourful ceremony at the Grand His Majesty the King’s 80th Birthday Anniversary Stadium in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
From 21 to 26 January, 651 male and 266 female athletes from 11 countries will compete in 13 sports, including Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Boccia, Chess, Wheelchair Fencing, Goalball, Judo, Powerlifting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Tennis.
The ASEAN Para Games aim to promote friendship and solidarity among persons with a disability in the ASEAN region through sports, develop sports for the persons with a disability in the ASEAN region and rehabilitate and integrate persons with a disability into society through sports.
The ASEAN Para Games are a biennial multi-sport event for athletes with a disability and take place in one of the ASEAN member nations, which include Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Timor Leste and Vietnam. The first ever ASEAN Para Games which were held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2001 attracted a participation of more than 760 athletes with a disability and officials from the ten ASEAN countries. The second ASEAN Para Games were held in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2003, followed by the thrid ASEAN Para Games in Manila, Philippines, in 2005 with the participation of athletes from 11 countries.