MANILA, Philippines – To drum up support for Philippine para athletes, the Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC) and the Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled (PHILSPADA) are set to launch a nationwide campaign that seeks to involve the general public in the paralympic movement.
PPC-PHILSPADA president Michael Barredo announced the “Alay Para Atleta” program during the 1st Philippine Para Sports Summit at the Microtel Hotel in Quezon City on Friday, June 9.
“These special athletes compete doubly hard, against all odds, through hardships, difficulties, and physical handicaps to give glory to the country just like athletes without disabilities,” said Barredo.
“We need to able to generate resources – human, financial, whatever resources we can put our hands on – to help push our cause forward.”
He said Alay Para Atleta – support for athletes – is something we would be able to do to reach out to as many Filipinos as possible.”
Power of mobile and social media
Philippines para athletes have set their eyes on the 9th ASEAN Para Games in Malaysia in September, the 2018 Asian para Games in Indonesia, the 10th ASEAN Para Games in Manila, and the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
The PPC and PHILSPADA hope to get as much support as they can to inspire and equip the para athletes for the upcoming games.
“We cannot definitely do this without everyone cooperating, collaborating with one another,” Barredo said during Friday’s summit.
“We need to be able to expand the reach of the Philippine Paralympic committee and the PHILSPADA all throughout the country,” he added.
Anyone from around the country can support the social media-based movement through a P50-annual contribution through mobile phone access.
Text donations can be done by texting ALAYPARA <space> amount to 3456. The public can donate from P50 up to P500.
The sports organization has also partnered with mobile content provider Information Gateway, which will release the mobile game app Juan2Run to help support the campaign.
Download revenues from Juan2Run, patterned after the popular Temple Run game, will be donated to the PPC-PHILSPADA and the Alay Para Atleta program.
“It’s a game we developed a year ago but we haven’t commercially launched it yet,” said director Charlene Reyes about the game app, which will be available to Android users.
“It’s like Temple Run but it features the travel destinations of the Philippines like Bohol and Bicol. We’re hoping to launch the game with Alay Para Atleta,” she added.
With the theme “Transcending Barriers Through Sports,” the first ever Philippine Sports Para Summit aimed to look into the current state of the sport in the country and to open more opportunities for Philippine para athletes.
The one-day gathering was attended by athletes, coaches, and sports officials from all over the country including Philippine Olympic Committee president Peping Cojuangco, Paralympic Games medalists Adeline Ancheta (powerlifting), Josephine Medina (table tennis), and swimmer Ernie Gawilan, among others. – Rappler.com