APG Awards Night!
So 4 weeks post the ASEAN Para Games, an Achievement Award Dinner was held for all officials and athletes. This was my very first award dinner and I was really looking forward to it.
Guests were welcomed by starwars cosplayers and the mood was FANTASTIC
Every guest had fun mingling with the cosplayers, but most important with fellow team Singapore Para athletes. This is a family who has bonded over the para gamese. We gave encouragement to each other regardless of sport and it was so heart-warming. Seeing everyone again, reminded me of that 6 days we spent at MBS, cheering each other on, having our meals together, having fun at the infinity pool etc. We have definitely built strong bonds.
During her speech, Prof Teo mentioned: “We had more than 150 athletes for this APG, which is 3 times more than the previous APG and half of which (75 individuals) are debutants.” I was really encouraged by this fact because this means that more individuals are not only participating in sports, but also improving themselves to the extend that they were able to meet the APG’s qualifying criteria. Yes, there is a qualifying criteria for the para games. For example, a T37 male would need to run faster than 1:02:90 to qualify for the 400m during this APG. This would explain why certain races had less than 8 participants in the finals. In summary, Singaporean para-athletes have definitely put in the hard work since APG’13 and prepared themselves well for APG’15. These are the hardwork, which are not seen.
Singapore broke 7 games record, 49 personal records during this APG’15. I know medals are important, and I am extremely pleased that personal records were being acknowledged during this APG. Because for the individuals who broke their personal records, they had given their all, not just on race day, but on every single training session for the past year or more so that they can shave off that 0.1s. Kudos to every athlete who made it happen.
If I were to pick my favourite gold medal from APG2015, it would definitely the one won by our swimmer, Yip Pin Xiu. Pin xiu who won the 50m backstroke against individuals who are 3 classes above her (meaning her competitors had better physical function or simply, pinxiu is more disabled than her competitors) while setting a new world record!! Talk about embracing the ability in the disability eh? *grins* I only managed to be at the OCBC arena on one day and thank God, I was fortunate enough to witness this race with my own eyes. I was brought to tears when it happened. Friends, one of the many reasons I cried was because I was so ashamed of myself. Whenever I had to race against individuals who are of a better class than me (T38) or abled bodied individuals, I kinda resigned to the fate that I would “lose”. Not that I didn’t push for timing, but sub-consciously, I had limited myself. When I saw Pinxiu smashed the swim to bring home the gold, she gave me so much courage and the determination to run my next race regardless of whomever I am up against.
As I mentioned earlier, the dinner was all about meeting up with the family. This is part of my athletics family. Even as we are having a simple dinner, everyone was talking about our next race and how we are going about to train for it. In fact, everyone is talking about how they are going to prepare for the next APG in Malaysia. And its not just the athletics peeps, everyone from every sport is thinking of ways to improve ourselves to have a better performance and to attempt to bring home more medals for Singapore! Exciting times ahead =)
Always thankful for these two sport officers, without which, I would not have been able to represent Singapore, let alone win a medal. Thank you Loh and Kang, for your hardwork, professionalism and friendship!
Dis.Is.Able would like to thank para-athlete Zac for taking the time to document and share with everyone this wonderful night!