10th ASEAN Para Games cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
Singapore, 9 May 2020 – Philippines Sports Commission (PSC) declared in a recent statement to the press that the 10th ASEAN Para Games (APG) 2020 will be cancelled in order to address the coronavirus pandemic that has swept the nation. In light of the decision from PSC, Major General Osoth Bhavilai, President of the ASEAN Para Sports Federation (APSF) regretfully confirmed the official cancellation of APG 2020 in a letter to participating National Paralympic Committees (NPCs).
The news came on the heels of funding withdrawal from the Philippine Sports Commission. In a letter addressed to Mr Michael Barredo, Chairman of NPC Philippines, Mr William I. Ramirez stated that in light of the present health crisis and the directives of the government of Philippines, “the Board of Commissioners had decided to withdraw its financial support to the hosting of the 10th ASEAN Para Games”. This effectively left the organising committee in a limbo and Mr Barredo expressed his disappointment in his letter to Major General Bhavilai.
He wrote, “It is very unfortunate that despite all our efforts, hard work and dedication, the hosting of the APG would not push through due to uncontrollable circumstances caused by the COVID-19.”
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) had this to say about the cancellation of the Games.
“The cancellation of the games is indeed disappointing especially for our athletes and the athletes from the region who had trained hard for it. Given the uncertainty of the pandemic and the cancellation of the games, let’s now look ahead towards the next host of ASEAN Para Games, Vietnam in 2021 and work towards a success campaign there. We hope all athletes continue to stay safe and find ways to adapt their training.”
Mr Eric Tseng, Chef De Mission to the Singapore contingent, echoed his sentiments.
“COVID-19 is truly an unprecedented event that has tremendous impact across all sectors. Team Singapore deeply appreciates ASEAN Para Sports Federation’s effort to keep APG 2020 on by previously delaying to October. Understandably in the interest of and diverting resources to public health to battle against COVID-19, we support the decision to cancel APG 2020.
While it has been a string of unfortunate delays to eventual cancellation, our team sends a resounding appreciation to the Philippines host country and all its organisers for their tireless efforts in the last couple years. We also send a Lion roar of support to all of our ASEAN counterpart athletes and coaches to stay encouraged and motivated in their sports and trainings. Most importantly, we wish everyone to stay safe and well as we stand united in ASEAN to battle against COVID-19.”
National Boccia athlete, Nurulasyiqah Taha, who was set to compete in this year’s edition of the Games, could not hide her disappointment regarding the cancellation but “understands that it is inevitable given that the COVID-19 outbreak in our region and the world has yet to stabilise.” Remaining optimistic, she added, “Let’s all do our part and focus on staying healthy during this period. I look forward to seeing ASEAN athletes come together stronger at the next Games, which won’t be too far away.”
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.