April 16, 2012 – Today Quang Tri Paralympic Association (QTPA) in collaboration with East Meets West Foundation (EMWF) held an opening ceremony of a short course training for coaches and instructors on disabled sports in Dong Ha District, Quang Tri. The course will take place from April 16 to 26 and is a continue of activities in “INSPIRE Sports” program started in 2011 by EMWF and QTPA.
The main objective of this training course is to equip 18 coaches and 18 instructors from 9 wards in Dong Ha district with knowledge and skills about disabled sports so that they are able to guide and encourage people with disabilities to play sports successfully as well as can help develop the campaign throughout the city. This is a continue of the basketball wheelchair training course organized by Mr. Gary Conor, world champion hand cyclist, in Quang Tri in October 2011.
In 2012, “INSPIRE Sports” program will launch a comprehensive pilot model of inclusive sports for disabled people in 1 year in Dong Ha district, Quang Tri. The program activities in 2012 aim at enhancing health and self-confidence of 300 people with disabilities in Dong Ha to integrate themselves in the community through sports and recreational activities, as well as at improving public awareness about disabled people’s abilities and integrity.
Mr. Phung Xuan Quy, President of QTPA spoke at the ceremony: “Sports activities of disabled people in the province in recent years have helped change awareness and attitude of the community as well as disabled people themselves about abilities and contributions of disabled people in the society. Disabled sports in the province have achieved encouraging results, yet still faced with difficulties in resources including human resources. There have been only few people with disabilities who can play sports coming to us and many obstacles to disabled people’s regular sports practicing. We believe that with support from East Meets West Foundation, “INSPIRE Sports” program will succeed, helping many more people with disabilities in the province be able to participate in and maintain practicing sports, bringing them with a lot of health as well as spiritual benefits, and promoting the program throughout the province”.
Besides the training course, the program also includes organizing weekly sports and exercise classes in basketball, swimming, badminton, athletics, and two sports and recreational events for people with disabilities in the district.
Since started in 2011, “INSPIRE Sports” program have organized successfully a hand cycling campaign namely Cycle Power across Vietnam among 25 Australian and Vietnamese disabled people in July, 2011 to promote inclusive sports for people with disabilities. The program also sponsored 20 sports wheelchairs for Quang Tri province and had disabled people in Dong Ha trained on playing basketball.
Ms. Nguyen Minh Thu, Program Development Director of EMWF said “Disabled people in Vietnam have been living with social inferiority and excluded from social and economic development. Participating in sports and recreational activities will not only better their health but also their self-confidence in integrating with the community as well as help them realize their potentials. Through sports and recreation, the public will also be able to have a better understanding about roles and abilities of disabled people. We hope that this pilot model in 2012 will bear fruits and be replicated in other areas”.