TASHKENT Uzbekistan – The 2013 Tashkent International Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) Conference was officially launched in the city of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, hoping to chart and embark concrete plans as the Asian paralympic governing body gears itself towards realising the Asian Paralympic Movement 2020 (APM2020) vision.
Some 80 delegates and observers from more than 20 countries attended the Conference, being held at Grand Mir Hotel in downtown Tashkent. Two main Games organisers – 2014 Incheon Asian Para Games Organising Committee (IAPGOC) and Malaysia Asian Yoith Para Games Organising Committee (MAYPGOC) also participated in the Conference.
Keynote address by APC President Dato Zainal Abu Zarin was discussed at length, touching on the realization of the APM2020, a broad action plan which focuses on developing Paralympic movement in Asia in various aspects such as organisation of Games, athletes development, administration.
The 10-year APM2020 plan is aimed at enhancing the status, branding and dignity of para sports, athletes and Persons With a Disability (PWDs) in sports.
APC is the Asian governing body for Paralympic movement and sports, governing 42 National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) which spans into the five sub-regions – namely the East Asia, the South East Asia, the South Asia, the West Asia and the Central Asia.
The Conference was officially launched by Uzbekistan’s Food Industry Association Chairman Asatilla Salimov who is also the Chairman of the National Paralympic Association of Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan top sport officials including Deputy Sports Minister Jasur Akramov, National Olympic Committee President Mirarbrov Usmanov and APC’s Central Asia Representative Umid Ahmatjanov also attended the Conference as among the main speakers of the Conference.
“Despite being held for the first time, interests and participation from NPCs and delegates has been great. This is an important Conference for APC was we move forward and prepare ourselves for two major Games – the 2013 Asian Youth Para Games in Malaysia in October and the Asia Para Games in Incheon in October next year,” said APC President Dato Zainal Abu Zarin.
The framework includes embarking on strategic plans and goals in the next seven years which include strengthening APC’s structure, governance and policies, empowering sports, volunteerism, events and athletes.
APM2020 also focuses on the need to boost the Paralympic brand, funds, assets, strategic partners as well the need to recognize athletes contribution and welfare. Other subjects presented by speakers at the Conference include “Rights, Equality and Accessibility for PWDs for Life and Sport, Strategic Partnership as well presentation of reports by all the five sub-regions in Asia.
Earlier, IPC President Sir Philip Craven, in his message, congratulated APC and the NPC of Uzbekistan for organising the Conference, saying that Asia plays and important role in pushing the global Paralympic agenda. The Tashkent Declaration, will be signed by all five regions in Asia at the end of the Conference.
In conjunction of the Conference, the inaugural APC Sport Award Gala was also held to honour and recognize athletes who have achieved feats in various categories Games and competitions.