Para sports: Largest-ever contingent at Asian Youth Para Games for Team Singapore off to Dubai

The Team Singapore Asian Youth Para Games contingent with guest of honour Baey Yam Keng, Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth, at their send-off ceremony at Changi Airport Terminal 3 on Dec 7, 2017. PHOTO: SINGAPORE NATIONAL PARALYMPIC COUNCIL

SINGAPORE - Team Singapore's contingent departed for the third Asian Youth Para Games (AYPG) in Dubai on Thursday (Dec 7), looking to build further on what has been a fairly positive year for para sports.

With 28 athletes, the 2017 contingent is the largest by far that Singapore has sent to the quadrennial event which is being held from Dec 10-13, representing a threefold increase from the nine who went to Malaysia for the last edition in 2013.

This edition will feature seven sports: athletics, badminton, boccia, bowling, goalball, powerlifting and table tennis. Singapore won three silver medals at the last AYPG.

Three-time Paralympic gold medallist Yip Pin Xiu is serving as the contingent's chef de mission, which marks the first time an active para-athlete has been appointed to the role.

Speaking at the send-off ceremony at Changi Airport's Terminal 3, the 25-year-old reminded her fellow para-athletes about the hard work they have put in and the importance of pushing on even when the going gets difficult.

"For all the athletes going for AYPG - it definitely gets tiring but the human spirit is very strong and you have to push on to give your very best. Commitment and passion are very important, and they're something you have to keep in mind to go far," said Yip, who participated in the first AYPG in 2009 as a 17-year-old.

"This (sporting) journey has shaped me in so many important ways... I am so much more confident, motivated and determined as an athlete and this is where sports will take you."

Asian Youth Para Games chef de mission Yip Pin Xiu speaking at the send-off ceremony at Changi Airport Terminal 3 on Dec 7, 2017. PHOTO: SINGAPORE NATIONAL PARALYMPIC COUNCIL

Team Singapore returned with their biggest ever away medal haul of 10 golds, 18 silvers and 24 bronzes from the ninth Asean Para Games (APG) held in Kuala Lumpur in September.

The 94-strong contingent was also the largest away contingent Singapore has sent to the APG.

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