Singapore, 4 July 2015 – More than 20 para paddlers from around Asia have come together in Singapore to participate in a para table tennis tournament and generate awareness of the sport in the country. Jointly organised by the Table Tennis Association for the Disabled Singapore (TTADS) and the Singapore ASEAN Para Games Organising Committee (SAPGOC), the event is open to the public and is the first of three community events to bring awareness for the upcoming 8th ASEAN Para Games (APG) which will be held in Singapore for the first time ever this year.
While the tournament may only be for para paddlers, there are also various activities that the public can participate in at the event. Held at the Marina Square Central Atrium, attendees can learn more about para table tennis and take pictures with the para paddlers at the event photo booth. One may even get a chance to take on the best para paddlers in the region in a mini table tennis match.
Mr Kevin Pang, President, TTADS, said “Through this event, I hope Singaporeans will get to know more about our own Team Singapore para paddlers and get behind them during the upcoming ASEAN Para Games where para table tennis is one of the sports being played. Table Tennis has a strong following in Singapore and we encourage the local table tennis fans to extend their support to our para paddlers as well.”
Present at the tournament is Egyptian para paddler and YouTube star, Ibrahim Hamato. Having lost both of his arms at the age of ten, Hamato plays table tennis with only his mouth and is currently one of the top ranking para paddlers in the world. Just last year, Hamato made waves online when a video of him taking on the best able-bodied table tennis players in the world went viral.
Hamato said, “Sport should not just for able-bodied athletes but for everyone to enjoy and participate in. This event is a great opportunity for Singaporeans to find out for themselves what the para paddlers are capable of and to be inspired by para sport and the para athletes.”
Mr Kerk Kim Por, Deputy Chairman EXCO, SAPGOC, said “We want to use the 8th ASEAN Para Games as a springboard to uplift the para sport scene in Singapore. Over the next six months, there will be various community events designed to bring awareness and to educate Singaporeans on the APG and the para sports that the APG will be hosting. As a continuation of the success of the SEA Games, we would like Singapore to join us on our APG journey by getting involved in our community initiatives or to join as volunteers.”
Also in conjunction with the event is a fund raising campaign organised by SAPGOC with support from Deloitte, a supporter of SAPGOC efforts to raise funds for schools and organisations that support persons with disabilities. Called ‘Backup 8th ASEAN Para Games 2015’, participants just have to take a photo of a person doing the ‘APG pose’ (putting your right hand on your left shoulder to signify the person backing up our para athletes) and post the photo onto Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #BackupAPG15. For each photo posted, Deloitte will donate $10 (capped at S$50,000) to the SAPGOC charity fund. The total amount raised will then be donated to the Singapore Disability Sports Council. The donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Government under the Care & Share movement, which is led by Community Chest, to build capability and capacity to support future social service needs. This campaign will run from 26 June to 13 July 2015.
About the 8th ASEAN Para Games
The 8th ASEAN Para Games will be held from 3 to 9 December 2015, with Singapore Sports Hub as the main venue for the Games. The Games is held in conjunction with Singapore’s 50th anniversary and will host more than 2,000 athletes and officials from the region. Adopting the theme of Celebrate the Extraordinary, the Games aims to promote friendship and solidarity amongst persons with disabilities in the ASEAN region through sport, to promote and develop sport for the differently abled, and rehabilitate and integrate persons with disabilities into mainstream society through sport.
YouTube Live Streaming:
8th ASEAN Para Games Presents: Unified Table Tennis Tourney 2015 (Day 1) - Saturday 4th July 1 – 4 pm
8th ASEAN Para Games Presents: Unified Table Tennis Tourney 2015 (Day 2) - Sunday 5th July 1 – 4 pm