7th PSC-PHILSPADA National Para Games opens

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — ASEAN Para Games medalists Ernie Gawilan, Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta, and Josephine Medina are leading the 1,200 athletes seeing action in the 7th PSC-PHILSPADA National Para Games that kicked off on Monday (May 27) and will culminate on Friday (May 31) at the Bulacan Sports Complex.

The multi-sport event with the theme “Sama-Sama sa Sports! Lalaban para sa Bayan!” is made possible through the collaborative efforts of PHILSPADA-NPC, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Bulacan Provincial Government through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office. 

The week-long competition provides a playing field where athletes from 12 regions, with disabilities such as visually-impaired, deaf, with cerebral palsy, intellectually disability and orthopedically handicapped, get the chance to showcase their skills, as they vie for a spot in the national Paralympic team roster. 

Gracing the opening ceremony on a rainy Sunday afternoon were William Ramirez, Chairman, Philippine Sports Commission and guest of honor, Michael Barredo, President, Philippine Paralympic Committee and PHILSPADA, Bulacan Vice Governor Daniel Fernando, Cong. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado represents Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and Board Member Emelita Viceo.

PSC Chairman William Ramirez, who served as the guest speaker said his greatest inspiration in life is to make sports program more accessible to the youth, to the poor and to disabled athletes.

“We have only 10% disabled persons in our total population and this disabled athletes inspire our country to become united despite their religions, despite their colors, and despite their status,” Ramirez said.  

The National Para Games will be composed of 14 sports events including para-athletics, para-swimming, table tennis, para powerlifting, badminton, chess, goalball, judo, wheelchair basketball, boccia, archery, tenpin bowling, sitting volleyball and demo-cycling competitions.

Michael Barredo, President, Philippine Paralympic Committee said that he wished this National Para Games grew more and more and more disabled athletes will participate.  

“The importance of this 7th National Para Games is to know who among the  Filipino para-athletes will join the ASEAN Para Games next January,” Barredo added.

According to Weng Joson-Tiongson, head of Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, she was instructed by Gov. Alvarado to ensure the safety and good health conditions of more or less 2,000 delegates composed of athletes, coaches, and game officials on the duration of the said event.

The sports event will be held in different venues namely Bulacan Sports Complex, Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center, City Walk Sports Center, Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium, Paradise Bowling Center, and Guiguinto Municipal Athletic and Cultural Center.

The meet, held separately from the Philippine National Games to give more exposure to the Filipino para-athletes, has lured 1,200 athletes from across the country.