The 2022 ASEAN Para Games (APG) being held in Surakarta, Central Java Province, demonstrates President Joko Widodo’s (Jokowi’s) commitment to athletes with disabilities, Minister of Youth and Sports Zainudin Amali has said.
He said that athletes with disabilities have awaited the games for long since the regional sports event had been delayed for four years.
“We are not the initial host; it was Vietnam. But then, because no other countries expressed their interest to host the games, President Joko Widodo instructed us to offer ourselves as the host,” Amali stated in his statement here, Sunday.
The minister said that the president’s instruction to volunteer as the host of the ASEAN Para Games is due to his mindfulness of the games that can be a platform for athletes with disabilities to compete and make achievements.
The cancellation of the 2020 ASEAN Para Games in the Philippines, the delay of the next Asian Games in Guangzhou until 2023, as well as the limited number of single-event championships reduced the platform that athletes with disabilities can use to showcase their abilities, he added.
“Hence, President Joko Widodo instructed me to provide them a platform to compete. If we are not the host of the game’s current edition, perhaps, the game would not be organized again,” Amali expounded.
The minister expressed gratitude for collaborations conceived among the central government and ministries, Central Java provincial authority, Surakarta municipal authority, and other stakeholders that made the game preparations smooth.
“Moreover, we mobilise all of our potentials in a very short time,” he emphasised.
He also expressed his optimism that Indonesia will achieve success in various sectors, such as sports achievements, administration, and economy, by becoming the host.
“The economic effect is highly positive; flights departing here are all full, and even some (athletes) must use land transportation (to come here). Hotels, car rent, transportation, and culinary business are all thriving. I have observed the economic effect of the event,” Amali stated.
Source: Antara News