The Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) last night presented three recipients with the Asian Order and six winners with Asian Awards at a Gala dinner held during the APC General Assembly in Bangkok.
The Asian Paralympic Order is the highest order that the APC can bestow and is awarded to any person who has illustrated the APC ideals through his or her actions, has demonstrated outstanding achievement in their sport, or has given outstanding and long-lasting services to the APC cause. At last night’s ceremony the Order was presented to:
Michael is currently President of NPC Philippines and an APC Board member representing the South East Asia Sub region. He began his involvement in disability sport shortly after an accident that left him visually impaired in 1979. A former athlete who then moved into sports administration, it has been his lifelong passion to advocate the importance of ‘Sports for All” especially for those with a disability as it develops self-confidence, heightens self-esteem and strengthen the competitive spirit. He is the founding President of the National Paralympic Committee of the Philippines, former Chairman of International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) in Asia before becoming the IBSA World President from 2005-2013. He was one of the founding governing Board Members and Vice President of the Asian Paralympic Committee He is a recipient of the “Paralympic Order” from International Paralympic Committee (IPC), which is the highest tribute given to individuals for their contribution in furthering the Paralympic Movement throughout the world.
The late Ms Fatemeh Haj Mir Fattah:
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in physical education Fatemeh moved to the United States to complete her advanced studies in this field. In 1978, while working on her Ph.D. dissertation at University of Texas in Houston, she was involved in a car accident which left her a paraplegic. This led to her focusing efforts onto sport for people with an impairment and led to her etching her name into the Paralympic history books. With a doctorate in Physical Education, she held faculty positions at several universities in Iran. Her lectures were regularly attended by many nationally and internationally recognized athletes. She founded and co-founded several different organizations and support groups with the goal of improving the conditions of people with impairments including the Paralympic Committee of Iran, and Iranian Spinal Cord Injury Association. She authored, co-authored, and translated several publications that introduced the issues of equal rights and equal opportunities for people with impairments to the Iranian community and was instrumental in helping women participate in international competitions for the first time in the history of Paralympic sport in Iran. Sadly she passed away in 2010 but she will never be forgotten – her contributions to the field of sports medicine and particularly, the issues related to people and athletes with impairments has had a significant impact on the lives of many. To accept the award her son, Mr Arash Mahmoudi flew in from the USA.
Ms Anyetty Chow Yeun Wan.
Anyetty joined the Hong Kong Sports Association for the Disabled in 1975 as an administrative assistant. She has dedicated over 40 years service to the association and the Paralympic movement.
A former athlete, she competed in both Wheelchair Fencing and Table tennis at the 1984 Paralympic Games, winning a medal in each sport. As an administrator, her dedication has helped the development of Para-sport in Hong Kong, encouraging many more people with an impairment to take up sport. She also played a role in the founding of the Hong Kong Paralympic Committee and in 2003 was promoted to Executive Secretary of the Association and was heavily involved in the organisation of the FESPIC (Far East and South Pacific) Youth Games which really drove awareness of Para-sport in the region.
She is now a role model for many and is always willing to share her experience and knowledge.
There were six categories for the Asian Paralympic Awards which were determined on outstanding performances at any competition since the last awards were presented in December 2014. The winners of the awards are
- Best Asian Male Athlete:
Xu Qing from China. A swimmer who competed at his first Paralympic Games in Athens when he was just 12 years old and went onto compete in both Beijing and London winning an impressive 7 gold medals and one bronze. His dominance in the S6 classification continued at the Incheon Asian Para Games where he won 8 gold medals in all the 8 events he took in, and broke 3 Asian records and 3 Asian Games records in the process. He continued his Paralympic success at Rio 2016 where he won 3 Gold medals
- Best Asian Female Athlete:
Rong Jingfrom China. Jing started wheelchair fencing in 2004 and won Gold at London 2012. She is the current world champion and competed at the Incheon Asian Para Games where she won two gold medals for women’s individual foil and epee. At Rio 2016 she was selected for the honour of being the flag bearer for the Chinese team and went on to win 3 gold medals in Women’s individual foil and 2 team events.
- Best Asian Team Performance:
The Iranian Men’s Sitting Volleyball team. This team is a world powerhouse at sitting volleyball, reaching the final in the past eight editions of the Games they have been runner up twice and have won Gold every other time (Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 Beijing 2008 and most recently Rio 2016). The award was collected by the team’s Head Coach Mr Hadi Rezaree.
- Best Asian Youth Athlete:
Syuci Indriani from Indonesia.Syuci won three Gold medals at the 2016 INAS Swimming Championships in Thailand which earned her qualification for Rio 2016. Against tough opposition, she qualified for two out of three finals which will stand this 15 year old swimmer in good stead for future success.
- Exemplary Asian Official:
Gwak Manjae, Head Coach of the People’s Republic of Korea’s Swimming Team. Manjae had an incredible 2016, coaching 8 athletes at Rio 2016, including delivering four gold medals. He is based in the Korea Paralympic Committed Incheon Training Center. He was a (non-disabled) swimming before he started teaching.
- Best Photography:
Abofazl Amanollah from Iranfor his photo of the Iranian Football 5 a side team at the Rio 2016 Games.
APC President Majid Rashed said:
“As we look to grow and strengthen the Paralympic movement in Asia, it is important that we recognise those who have made a lasting contribution to it and those whose sporting performances are inspiring and exciting our region. My Executive Board colleagues and I enjoyed judging the winners from a strong list of nominations and we congratulate them all”.