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China’s paralympic sports experience praised

China’s paralympic sports experience praised
October 18, 2011

Competitors can learn from China's para sports experience according to the President of Asian Paralympic Committee (APC).

Referring to suggestions for future development of para sports in China at the eighth National Para Games in Hangzhou, China, APC President Dato' Zainal Abu Zarin stated "it's time for China to give lessons to the others," adding "I (have) told my friends in other countries that if you want to learn something about sports changing people's life, come to China and learn here."

Abu Zarin watched goalball and sitting volleyball matches during the eight-day Games was amazed by the high standard of the championships, adding "China said it is a national games but the performance class is international. The whole championships are all world class and I expected that because you've done the Beijing Paralympics and Asian Para Games."

Before the trip to Hangzhou, Abu Zarin had travelled to China several times for Beijing Paralympics, Guangzhou Para Games and some other events and has become a witness of China's disabled sports growth.

Beijing, Guangzhou and Hangzhou, different cities have varied atmosphere but they all shared the same commitment to disabled sports in Abu Zarin's view.

"The commitment of the government is stunning, which is dedicated to the whole people inclusively. And it's not only changing the minds of authorities, but also changing in mind of millions of people inclusive, abled and disabled.

"It is the climax of eight years of works, planning, talking, strategising. And most of the people on the streets are happy. That makes me feel good because sport is supposed to make people happy."

The Guangzhou Para Games was the first multi-sports event for the disabled under the title of 'Asian', and it was also the first time that Asian Games and Asian Para Games were held in the same year and same city.

Abu Zarin gave advice to China and also to other Asian countries, stating "sport is the media that brings people together, so when China is to hold more International para games, maybe more focus on enhancing the communications among the coaches and athletes would be even better.

"People now look at children who are disabled not as a liability, but as assets to the family, country and region.

"Basically, sport is about lessons to be learnt and character-building for life. It's also to learn to act by rules and regulations. One can learn much more outside the classroom through practical experience."

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