Shine and be an in­spi­ra­tion to oth­ers, ath­letes urged

The Star Malaysia - - Nation -

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

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