History of ASEAN Para Games

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Photo credit: International Paralympic Committee  

In May 2000, during the 10th Paralympiad Malaysian Games in Kuala Lumpur, the idea of establishing a Sports Federation for persons with disabilities at ASEAN level was endorsed in one accord by 10 Southeast Asian countries, represented by the various National Paralympic or Sports Organisations for persons with disabilities. This resulted in the birth of the ASEAN Para Sports Federation (APSF), helmed by Dato Zainal Abu Zarin as President, and its biennial Sports Championship named as the ASEAN Para Games.

The name “Para” is derived from the word “Parallel”, indicating that the Games for Para-athletes are parallel with the Games for able-bodied athletes. ASEAN Para Games is a sport event held after every Southeast Asian Games for ASEAN athletes with physical disabilities, with mobility disabilities, visual disabilities, intellectual disabilities, amputees, and those with spastic and cerebral palsy. The games are typically hosted by the same country in the same year where the SEA Games would take place.

The first edition of the Games took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2001) followed by Hanoi, Vietnam (2003), Manila, Philippines (2005), Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand (2007), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Originally scheduled for Laos) (2009), Solo, Indonesia (2011), and Naypyidaw, Myanmar (2013).

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