Asean Para Games: Singapore to set up Centres of Expertise for para-sports next year

Chef de missions and delegates from 10 participating countries posing for pictures at the welcome ceremony for the Asean Para Games 2015 in Singapore.
Chef de missions and delegates from 10 participating countries posing for pictures at the welcome ceremony for the Asean Para Games 2015 in Singapore.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The Singapore para-sports scene is set for a boost next year, with plans in place to set up specialised centres as well as to strengthen the para sports eco system.

Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth Grace Fu revealed these plans in her welcome address at an Asean Para Games symposium on Wednesday (Dec 2) morning.

They are among the key recommendations of the Committee for Disability Sports, which was formed earlier this year as part of the Government's vision to build a more inclusive society and to create more opportunities for the disabled to participate in sports.

Two Centres of Expertise will be set up next year - at Jurong West and Toa Payoh. Both will provide "barrier-free access" and offer sports programmes tailored for the disabled.

Gyms with equipment suitable for users of all abilities will also be built within each centre.

Another key recommendation is to strengthen the disability sports eco-system and build professional capabilities.

One way, Ms Fu said, is to work with Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs), hospitals and rehabilitation centres to introduce sport as part of the rehabilitation and recovery process for patients.

Workshops will also be held to equip teachers to run adapted and inclusive Physical Education lessons, so that more students with disabilities in both mainstream and Special Education schools can take part in sports.

Ms Fu is confident the Asean Para Games, which opens on Thursday, can provide the platform for these plans to take off.

She added: "Ultimately we hope to build upon the Asean Para Games to enable more persons with disablities to live better through sport. This is the legacy that we want to build for the Asean Para Games."

The Games will feature more than 1,100 athletes from 10 Asean countries.