With just five days to go until the start of the 2010 Asian Para Games in the Chinese city of Guangzhou, the President of the Asian Paralympic Committee Dato’ Zainal Abu Zarin has urged all competing athletes to ‘grasp the opportunity of a lifetime’.
Around 2,500 athletes from 41 different countries are set to compete in the ‘Flower City’ in an event that will be the biggest in the Paralympic Movement since the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
Dato’ Zainal Abu Zarin, President of the Asian Paralympic Committee, said: “Athletes arriving in Guangzhou over the next few days will find a city that has built facilities that are better than at any other Asian Para Games.
“To compete in such facilities and in front of such passionate crowds is something many may never have experienced before and it is vital that they grasp the opportunity of a lifetime.
“Starting on Sunday, the people of Guangzhou will witness inspirational performances which are as equally special as the venues and the city itself.
“For many participants this will be their first major Championships and rather than being daunted by the prospect they should be excited and determined to enjoy every single minute.
“Others will be using this event as a stepping stone to the London 2012 Paralympic Games and will be determined to put in performances that send out a warning to competitors around the world.”
Starting exactly 816 days since the conclusion of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, the APC President believes it is important that the 2010 Asian Para Games continues to build on the legacy created by those Games.
Dato’ Zainal Abu Zarin added: “The Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games were the most successful in the history of the Paralympic Movement leaving a lasting legacy not only in China, but the whole of Asia.
“A lot of work has gone into creating a vast number of barrier free facilities in Guangzhou and the most important thing is that these will remain here long after the conclusion of the Asian Para Games.
“It is important though that the legacy left from these Games is not just material based. As with Beijing it is vital that attitudes towards people with a disability continue to change and I expect that this will happen once the people of this great city witness the stunning and remarkable performances by our athletes.”
This is the first time that the Asian Para Games have run parallel to the recently concluded Asian Games and has been developed from the Far East and South Pacific Games for the Disabled (FESPIC) which took place between 1975 and 2006.
The 2010 Asian Para Games takes place from 12-19 December and the 19 sports that athletes will be competing in are: Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Boccia, Cycling, Football 5-a-side, Football 7-a-side, Goalball, Judo, Powerlifting, Rowing, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Ten Pin Bowling, Volleyball (sitting), Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Fencing, Wheelchair Tennis.