The 43rd National Para Athletics Championships was held on Saturday at Toa Payoh Stadium. The yearly event gives para athletes a chance to compete and vie for selection for the national development and elite training squad.
The 43rd National Para Athletics Championships gives para athletes a chance to compete and vie for selection for the national development and elite training squad. Photo: Sport Singapore
This year's championship also presented a chance for the top performing athletes to represent Singapore in the upcoming 8th ASEAN Para Games
"Disability sports have come a long way and this year marks a special year for us as we celebrate our golden jubilee 50th anniversary," Raja Singh, Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) Vice President and ASEAN Para Games Chef De Mission said during his opening address.
"We hope to continue the legacy of the National Para Athletics Championships as a platform for the discovery of sporting potential and continue to play a vital role in the development of disabled sports community and work toward inclusion with the vision of a sporting nation for all by 2030."
When asked about his achievements during the championship, Md Diroy Bin Noordin, an athlete competing in the Javelin, said: "My target is to do my best and to keep improving my distance."
Md Diroy Bin Noordin aims to beat his Javelin throw distance. Photo: Sport Singapore
He added that he finds throwing the javelin to be both fun and exciting and his motivation to beat his own personal best has made him train even harder.
Muhammad Firdaus bin Nordin is another sportsman participating in the games. A qualifier for the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, China, Firdaus had to pull out due to injury and has not competed since the 2011 ASEAN Para Games in Solo, Indonesia.
"I am trying to get back to my peak in this short time period. I hope to get into the medal standing in the upcoming ASEAN Para-games," he said.
He also had these words of encouragement for fellow para athletes: "Don’t stop, if you feel that it’s disheartening to come out to the public, tell them not to worry and to come and meet me.
Muhammad Firdaus bin Nordin celebrates as he wins his race. Photo: Sport Singapore
"I’m going to make you comfortable with everything. Because life is too short and you can’t just stop there."
The 8th ASEAN Para Games runs from the 3 to 9 December 2015 and features over 160 Singaporean para athletes.