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10th ASEAN Para Games gets new dates amidst COVID-19 concerns

Singapore, 16 March 2020 – In an emergency meeting via video conference held today, the ASEAN Para Sports Federation (APSF) Board of Governors (BoG), the Federation’s highest decision-making authority, convened to deliberate on the status of the ASEAN Para Games (APG) Philippines 2020 and officially approved new dates, 3rd-9th October 2020, for the 10th edition of the Games.

National Paralympic Committee (NPC) Presidents and alternates of Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam were present at the two-hour video conference from Manila which was chaired by NPC Philippines President, Michael Barredo. Myanmar and Brunei were not present. Due to the worsening COVID-19 global pandemic which has now affected all its Southeast Asian member countries, the meeting was held to ascertain the status of the 10th ASEAN Para Games. The APSF BoG agreed that the Games will now be moved from 21st-27th March 2020 to 3rd-9th October 2020 with conditions that the COVID-19 pandemic is contained and no longer a threat to humans.

The dates serve as the new target dates for the Games to help the Philippines ASEAN Para Games Organising Committee (PHILAPGOC) with necessary arrangements and preparations. The Board has agreed to convene another meeting at the end of July 2020 to assess the COVID-19 situation before confirming and proceeding with the proposed new dates for the Games. This is to adhere to the regulation that the host notifies APSF at least 60 days before the commencement of the Games to allow time for the APSF Coordination Committee to inspect Games facilities and the host’s readiness.

The global pandemic has forced the postponement and cancellation of many major sporting events and tournaments around the world throughout the coming months, and after two APG postponements, Mr Kevin Wong, Chairman of the Singapore National Paralympic Council (SNPC) and Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) is treading cautiously.

“The COVID-19 situation is still a major concern on our side, but I believe with the postponement of the Games, it gives ASEAN countries the opportunity to reevaluate the seriousness of the situation. In the meantime, the main focus for both SNPC and SDSC is our Para athletes’ well-being and how they are coping with the current crisis.”

APSF is adhering strictly to the guidelines and preventive measures stipulated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and health authorities to help contain the pandemic in the respective ASEAN nations to protect the health, welfare and safety of all participating athletes, officials and contingents. Mr Eric Tseng, Chef De Mission to the Singapore contingent agrees.

“Our top priority and current focus for our teams and athletes is to adhere to MOH’s recommendation of social-distancing, avoiding unnecessary overseas travels and practicing clean hygiene at all times. Our coaches and athletes are also taking extended measures to ensure any training and practices are conducted in absolute safe conditions and if not, making amendments, cancellations or postponements where necessary.

The COVID-19 situation is extremely fluid on a day-by-day basis and short-term developments continues to be unpredictable thus making any long-term plans to remain under review for the time-being.”

National Para swimmer, Toh Wei Soong, who is set to participate in both the Paralympic Games in Tokyo scheduled for end August 2020 followed by APG in October, remains optimistic about the prospect of competing.

“It should not affect my preparation too much, if I’m coming from the Paralympics and going into APG. It does mean that I can’t rest as much after the competition in Tokyo, but I don’t mind. APG is a major games and it is an honour for me to race and represent the country. I look forward to racing at APG, whether it’s in October or any other time.”

For this edition of the Games, three designated hubs, namely Manila, Clark and Subic, will serve as hosts for 17 sports: Archery, Badminton, Boccia, Chess, Cycling, CP (cerebral palsy) Football, Goalball, Judo, Para Athletics, Para Powerlifting, Para Swimming, Para Triathlon, Table Tennis, Tenpin Bowling, Sitting Volleyball, Wheelchair Basketball and Para Obstacle Course Racing (demo sport).

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About Singapore National Paralympic Council

Formed on 23 June 2008, the Singapore National Paralympic Council (SNPC) is the only national body recognised by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). The SNPC focuses on enabling our elite Para athletes to participate in major games like the ASEAN Para Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Para Games, Asian Youth Para Games and Paralympic Games. 

For more information, please visit www.snpc.org.sg. Follow the SNPC on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sgparalympics and @sg_paralympics on Instagram.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Nurhuda Abu Bakar

Communications Secretariat

10th ASEAN Para Games

Email: nurhuda@equatre.asia

Tel: 9474 0194

Joy Lee

Singapore National Paralympic Council

Email: joy_lee@snpc.org.sg

Tel: 6346 1158

Julaina Jaffar

Singapore National Paralympic Council

Email: julaina_jaffar@snpc.org.sg

Tel: 6346 1158