A Host City contract for Jakarta to stage the 2018 Asian Para Games has been officially signed at a special ceremony today.
The event Indonesia’s capital will mark the third time that the Asian Para Games have taken place following Guangzhou in China in 2010 and Incheon in South Korea in 2014.
A total of 4,000 athletes from 42 countries are expected to take part, making them the largest multi-sport competition for disabled athletes outside the Paralympic Games.
Representing the the Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) at a ceremony in Jakarta were its President Majid Rashed, vice-president Mizuno Masayuki and Board members Michael Barredo and M. Aso Manabu.
They were joined by APC chief executive Tarek Souei.
They met with Alfitra Salamm, secretary of Indonesia’s Ministry of Youth and Sport, who was representing the Minister Faisal Abdulla, and several senior officials from various Government departments, including the Ministries of Education, Health and Social Affairs.
“At our gathering last year, our membership identified that establishing the Asia Para Games as a premier sporting event is a key element in driving the growth of the Paralympic Movement in Asia,” said Rashed.
“I’m delighted therefore that we have signed this agreement today and thank the Organising Committee for all their hard work so far.
“I’d also like to thank the Indonesian Government for the support and commitment that they are showing to developing Para-sport within the region.
“We are sure that the Games will not only strengthen the Paralympic Movement throughout Asia but will also leave a legacy of greater understanding for people with a disability.”
Jakarta was confirmed as the host city for the 2018 Asian Games in October 2014.
Indonesia emerged as the only viable candidate for the 2018 Asian Games and Asian Para Games after original hosts, Vietnamese capital Hanoi, pulled out citing economic pressures.
The country last hosted a major Paralympic-level event in 2011 when the city of Surakarta staged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Para Games.
The next edition of the Asian Para Games had been originally scheduled to be held in 2019 to avoid a clash with the Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.
Following Hanoi’s withdrawal, however, and them subsequently being handed to Jakarta, they will take place in 2018 to avoid a clash with the Indonesian Presidential election taking place the following year.
Athletes will compete in 13 Paralympic and four non-Paralympic sports.
For a number of disciplines, the Games will act as a qualifier for Tokyo 2020.
They are due take place in the same venues as the 2018 Asian Games from October 8 to 16.
- By Daniel Etchells
- Republished with permission insidethegames.biz