In a bid to follow up on activities after a workshop held in Tokyo last year, the Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) has held a series of one-on-one virtual meetings with National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) to receive updates on the development of parasport for women in the region amid the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The meetings were held with 11 NPCs including the newest members of the APC – NPC Maldives and NPC Bhutan – with APC Women and Sports Committee Chairperson Nasanbat Oyunbat moderating the sessions and with APC Vice President Masayuki Mizuno, APC CEO Tarek Souei and Japan Paralympic Committee and Japan Sports Council representatives also in attendance.
In the meetings, NPCs shared the activities they have held to promote parasport to women including awareness programmes, seminars and workshops.
The APC delegates were encouraged to learn that the NPCs were making efforts to promote parasport among women who are now seen breaking social and religious barriers and are participating in parasport even in war-torn nations like Yemen and Afghanistan.
Commenting on the initiatives taken up by the NPCs across Asia, Ms. Oyunbat said: "It’s important to have women’s participation in sport for their well-being and development, to provide leadership opportunities with decision making positions to uphold women’s rights and to ensure that women’s voices are heard. We hope to see more and more female athletes joining the Paralympic Movement and taking part in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
"The good thing is that the activities have started in these countries and gradually, we hope that this will only increase with time and inspire more women to participate in parasport."
Ms. Oyunbat shared with the NPCs the APC Women and Sports Committee Vision and Mission, and also the four important pillars to keep the athletes motivated during the difficult time of the pandemic– Wellbeing, Safety, Resources and Structure.
APC CEO Mr. Souei encouraged the NPCs to continue the process of promoting parasport, especially among women, with an aim to making them ready for the upcoming Games like the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Bahrain 2021 Asian Youth Para Games and the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games.
"It’s great to see even the newest members of APC family—NPC Bhutan and NPC Maldives – are actively promoting and supporting their athletes and carrying out programmes to encourage more women in their countries, despite the Pandemic.
“Some of these NPCs have become role models for many big nations with their success stories in very short span of time. I wish all the NPCs good luck and hope these programmes will help their athletes grow stronger not just in their careers but in their lives.”