The 11th Asean Para Games is just over two months away and no effort is being spared to get Solo, Indonesia ready to ensure a smooth delivery on 30 July this year.
But having been delayed a week from the original schedule of 23 July, the games now clash with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which is slated for 28 July to 8 August.
Ensuring Solo is at its best for the games second time round
The Asean Para Sports Federation (APSF) had approved the hosting transfer during its board of governors meeting in February, after Hanoi decided not to host the para games due to the pandemic and just focus on the 31st SEA Games.
With that honour, the APSF secretariat, the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) Indonesia and the 11th ASEAN Para Games Solo 2022 secretariat in Solo City continue to step up efforts to ensure the preparation and smooth delivery of the Asean Para Games Solo 2022.
APSF Secretariat Head Wandee Tosuwan says with 68 days left before it is time to raise the curtain on 30 July, APSF will leave no stones unturned and NPC Indonesia, and those from member nations will be working closely to overcome whatever challenges and barriers ahead.
“We all need to pull our resources together, be transparent and help each other to ensure that after four years, the 11th ASEAN Para Games is successfully delivered,” Dr Wandee adds.
Asean Para Games delayed despite on track preparations
Originally scheduled to begin on 23 July, the Para Games are now starting on 30 July – a week later and feature 14 sports and more than 2,000 athletes and officials. This is the second time Solo is hosting the biennial games.
It was after the first in-person Coordination Committee Meeting, which included visits to competition venues in Solo in May, was completed that APSF started to work. It also followed with virtual meetings with the host and Games stakeholders to ensure that observations, recommendations and feedback were translated into action.
These are follow-ups on sports and technical requirements, games agreements, presidential decree, venue refurbishment and upgrades, media and communications plans, marketing and sponsorship initiatives, games support, anti-doping plans, classification process, protocol and events requirements.
It also includes the setting up of APSF Games Secretariat in Solo during game-time, NPC relations and accreditation process, accommodation arrangement, ensuring and well-tested IT system and other technical matters of the games as well as ensuring the welfare and safety of contingents, athletes, officials and guests.
The outcome, findings and recommendations from the APSF Project Review team was presented at the APSF Exco Meeting today (24 May).
Following the postponement of the 2022 Asian Para Games in Hangzhou China, originally scheduled this September, the 11th Asean Para Games will take centre stage as it is now the only platform in Asia for athletes with a disability to strut their stuff in a competitive and multi-sport event this year.
“In the last four years, Asean athletes missed out on the opportunity to compete in three top-notch regional multi-sports Games since 2019 – the Manila 2019 Games, in Hanoi last year and now the 4th Asian Para Games in Hangzhou,” Dr Wandee says.
“The Solo 2022 Games is crucial, APSF fully believes in Indonesia’s capability as host and we, in the region’s Paralympic family, must come together to meet all expectations. We have no choice but to ensure that the 11th Asean Para Games is delivered successfully,” she adds.
Executive Director of the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) Kelly Fan tells TheHomeGround Asia that its focus has not changed.
Clash of the titans: Asean Para Games in Solo at the same time as Commonwealth Games in Birmingham
“We will continue to work with our athletes, coaches and officials to provide an environment where they can train well and be as competition ready as possible — communications, daily training environments, sport science and sport medicine support, sparring opportunities and athlete life management,” she says.
However, with the new dates, the 11th Asean Para Games in Solo now clashes with the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, scheduled from 28 July to 8 August and which Singapore is set to participate in.
At the Commonwealth Games, para sports events are included alongside the other sports. The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has announced that Birmingham 2022 is set to have the largest ever para sport programme in history.
With the inclusion of Para Table Tennis, the Games will have eight para sports now confirmed for the multi-sport competition.
As for the para athletes of Singapore, Ms Fan says those “who qualify for both games will only attend one” but she did not specify which one.