The sprawling Khalifa Sports City in Bahrain will host the Asian Youth Para Games in December last year. Image Credit: Gulf News archive

Dubai: The Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) and the Bahrain Asian Youth Para Games Organising Committee (BAYPGOC) will work to ensure the success of the Games in December next year.

The first Co-ordination Commission meeting for the Bahrain 2021 Asian Youth Para Games was held earlier this week with APC members and the Games Organising Committee discussing several aspects on the preparation of the Games that are scheduled to be held from December 1-10, 2021.

An estimated 800 athletes under 20 years of age are expected to compete in nine sports: namely athletics, badminton, boccia, goalball, taekwondo, powerlifting, swimming, table tennis and wheelchair basketball during the ten days of competition next year.

Competition will take place at the Khalifa Sports City, a multi-purpose stadium in Isa Town, and Isa Sports City, the national indoor sports facility. The event is being organised in conjunction with the National Paralympic Committee of Bahrain with the support of the local government.

APC President Majid Rashid Al Usaimi opened the meeting held via video teleconferencing while Ali Al Majid, General Secretary of the Bahrain Paralympic Committee, led the proceedings on the local organisers’ behalf.

Highlighting the Kingdom of Bahrain’s “ambitious strategic plan” to develop para-sport in the country, Al Usaimi said: “Hosting the Asian Youth Para Games 2021 in Bahrain is a vital part of helping us to achieve our mission to support NPCs to enable para-athletes achieve sporting excellence from grassroots to elite level. Bahrain has a very bright future and are looking to achieve and deliver for their athletes as well for us in the APC. Youth are the future of our sport and we are working very hard to have a sustainable championship and to create the right platform and atmosphere for young para-athletes to launch their careers.

“I also want to thank Sheikh Mohammed Bin Duaij Al Khalifa (President, Bahrain Paralympic Committee) for his great efforts and energy to rebuild the Para-Sport Movement in Bahrain. In addition, General Secretary Ali Al Majid’s experience and passion will also support the success of the movement in Bahrain,” he said.

The APC President also hoped that “the Paralympic family in the region will come back stronger together” amid the difficult time of the COVID-19 Pandemic. “We are continuing our efforts and hope that our athletes will be back stronger once this phase is over,” Al Usaimi said.

Al Usaimi further thanked the APC for showing confidence in the Kingdom of Bahrain on hosting an important international event like the Asian Youth Para Games. “We trust this event will be a huge success,” he confided.

“Our meeting was a kick-off to the Games’ preparation with lot of ideas and suggestions from APC. And we will work on the suggested technical points and schedule with specific committees and be ready to meet again, hopefully personally, with the APC soon,” he added.