Speech by Y.B. Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar, minister of youth & sports, Malaysia – Opening ceremony Asian Youth Para Games Malaysia 2013

SPEECH by

Y.B ENCIK KHAIRY JAMALUDDIN ABU BAKAR

MINISTER OF YOUTH & SPORTS, MALAYSIA

OPENING CEREMONY

ASIAN YOUTH PARA GAMES Malaysia 2013

SATURDAY, 26 October 2013, STADIUM PUTRA

Bukit Jalil, Malaysia

 

Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Jeanne Abdullah

Patron, Paralympic Council of Malaysia

Yang Berbahagia Dato Zainal Abu Zarin

President, Asian Paralympic Committee

Sir Philip Craven,

President, International Paralympic Committee, IPC

Yang Berusaha Associate Prof. Dr Anuar Suun

Vice-Chairman, Malaysia Asian Youth Para Games Organising Committee, MAYPGOC

Asian Paralympic Committee Board Members,

Paralympic Council Malaysia Board Members

Members of the AYPG Malaysia 2013 Organising Committee

Contingents, Athletes, Officials and Delegates,

Volunteers, Members of the Local and Foreign Media,

Distinguished Guests, fans, Ladies and Gentlemen

A very good afternoon and Salam 1Malaysia

I feel great and honoured to be here this afternoon, to be able to join this auspicious occasion with the Asian Paralympic fraternity, celebrating the opening of the Asian Youth Para Games Malaysia 2013.

My heartiest congratulations to Paralympic Council of Malaysia (PCM), its Patron YABhg Tun Jeanne Abdullah, and President, Dato Zainal Abu Zarin and his dedicated team of Para volunteers, for all the great efforts in organising the Asian Youth Para Games 2013, which commences today until 30th Oct. 2013. I’m aware of all the hardship and struggles in putting up with a Games such as this. Your commitment, perseverance and dedication in continuously promoting the Paralympic agenda, movement and Para sports in this country is simply amazing and laudable.

It’s simply heartening to see all the smiling faces, all the excitement, eagerness and the burning desire and spirit amongst our young athletes in pursuit of sporting excellence. This Games is significant in many ways to all of us here…to athletes, officials, volunteers, fans and the masses. This is where we try to understand each other better, where we can witness the real meaning of inspiration, perseverance and dedication. For these young Para athletes, this is where they realize their dreams; forge new friendships, and make THE IMPOSSIBLE, POSSIBLE. This is “ Where Passion Grows, Dreams Realised and Friendships Strengthened”.

To all participating nations, athletes, officials, delegates and guests from all 30 participating nations, I extend you a warm welcome to Malaysia. This is a nation with great sports fans, and we hope for the next four of five days, the fans will come out in droves at venues and show their support.

The Asian Youth Para Games 2013 has already set a benchmark even before the Games’ curtain is raised. A total of 14 sports, a significant increase form the 5 sports listed in the last edition in 2009 in Tokyo, will be contested here this time around. Adding to that, the organizers should be given a pat on their back for initiating efforts to reach out to the masses and enhance awareness on Para sports, Para athletes and Para Games via various initiatives, including collaboration with local and international broadcast partners and social media platforms. It is my hope that the masses and audience will have better understanding on Para sports and the Paralympic philosophy.

For many years, the Ministry of Youth and Sports have been promoting the concept of sports for all, to increase social participation in sports. This includes promoting the Paralympic sports and its values, providing equal opportunities to our Para athletes in sports and life. This is evident with our policy of dishing out same incentives to our Para athletes as received by able-bodied athletes. I hope, this would encourage more athletes with a disability to come out, be bold, create sporting history on the world stage and bring honour to the country.

Winning is important and that’s what athletes like you strive for…but it’s not everything. To be able to be here, to compete amongst your peers and from various nations, is already a feat. Not many of us have that opportunities, and you are the privileged ones. You are the chosen ones. And that, you should cherish, and continue striving for excellence in sports and life.

I wish to once again thank and congratulate the Local Organizing Committee, led by Dato Zainal Abu Zarin, for all the hard work which has been put in to ensure the smooth running of this Games. I have full belief that Malaysia will benefit tremendously from the organisation of this Games.

On that note, I would like to wish everyone the very best in the Asian Youth Para Games 2013, best of luck to all contingents, athletes and officials… compete and battle out with true sporting spirit, and most of all, have fun and have an enjoyable stay in Malaysia!

With that, “I hereby declare the Asian Youth Para Games Malaysia 2013 Open!”

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