Asian Paralympics
Majid Rashid Al Usaimi, the UAE-based President of the Asian Paralympic Committee (top right), holds a virtual meeting with the member nations. Image Credit: Supplied picture

Dubai: Majid Rashid Al Usaimi, the President of the Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) has stressed on the need to have better connectivity between member nations especially during these trying times.

Al Usaimi has been in contact with the National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) of member nations through a series of virtual meetings over the past few weeks with the aim of driving home a fresh system of staying connected.

“The meetings so far have been very fruitful and I am happy with the number of NPCs taking part in this initiative. It is an important time for us to stay connected with each other that will also keep us stronger,” Al Usaimi said.

“It’s been pleasing to hear that so far governments have been even-handed in their treatment of para-athletes and we are grateful for this. The initiatives and measures taken by some of the NPCs are also quite commendable. On the other hand, we also understand the situation of a few NPCs and look to support them in every way during this testing time,” he added.

The APC is planning a webinar series on several topics for NPCs and athletes, using experts from across the para-sport landscape to further engage and connect athletes from across the Asian continent.

Al Usaimi’s virtual meetings with NPC chiefs also discussed the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the Paralympic Movement in their respective countries.

Over the past three weeks, at least 25 NPCs have participated in the online meetings, while APC CEO Tarek Souei has also been in attendance. “These meetings are aimed at learning about how the NPCs and athletes are coping with these difficult times and how activities related to the Paralympic Movement have been affected due to the current situation,” Al Usaimi observed.

The meetings have also discussed several ways in which the Dubai-based APC can support and help the NPCs and their athletes return to their pre-lockdown levels. Moreover, the APC President has been keen to discover if governments have considered para-athletes equally with their Olympic counterparts following his recent call for equal treatment.

The NPCs also shared with the APC initiatives, programmes and steps they have taken either to offer assistance to the needy during these difficult times or to help their athletes stay physically and mentally strong at their homes.