Shine and be an inspiration to others, athletes urged
KUALA LUMPUR: Shine and be an inspiration to others at the 9th Asean Para Games starting today, athletes urged.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, in welcoming all 11 participating contingents during the flag raising ceremony at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday, hopes to see para athletes excel.
“Ultimately, we want the KL2017 to be a Games where we celebrate all abilities in sports.
“We’re excited to host the Para Games for the third time after a gap of eight years.
“It will always have a special place in our hearts as Malaysia was the first host of the Asean Para Games back in October 2001,” Khairy said.
The Asean Para Games will see a total of 1,421 athletes from the South-East Asian region compete for supremacy in 16 sports and 368 events until Sept 23.
“Over the years, many athletes have made so much progress and many have gone to win medals at the highest level at the World Championships, Paralympic Games and Asian Para Games.
“We’re looking forward to seeing the athletes breaking their personal best, national records and the Games records.
“I expect that this will inspire a generation of not just para athletes but also athletes and citizens of Asean to imagine the unthinkable and to say to themselves that ‘nothing is impossible’.
“We want you to concentrate on your performance and to do your best on the field of play. Inspire us to go further, to go higher, to go faster, and that no disability is an impediment to success.
“We can rise above any challenges and taste success like what you will demonstrate over the next week,” he said.
In a mission to inspire and encourage unity among the para athletes, officials and fans – able bodied and the special needs – the Malaysian Organising Committee has left no stone unturned to ensure that preparations at the Games venues are met.
Khairy hoped sports fans will fill up the stadiums, halls and venues to watch the athletes in action.
“We have tried hard to make the necessary preparations to ensure that all special needs are met.
“We have made provisions for not only disabled athletes but also sports fans who have disabilities so that they too can enjoy the same experience as the able bodied at the Games.
“As they say, sports has the ability to unite and I hope to see the same spirit of unity clearly demonstrated during the last SEA Games to be repeated again,” added Khairy.
Proud moment: Khairy (front row, fifth from left) during the flag-raising ceremony with heads of the contingents at the 9th Asean Para Games at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil. — Bernama