THE Philippine Sports Commission (PSC)-backed 2018 Davao Para Games formally opened Saturday, July 28, 2018 at the University of Mindanao (UM) Bolton Gym in Davao City.
Michael Aportadera, Sports Development Division-City Mayors Office (SDD-CMO) officer-in-charge, read the welcome message of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to participants during the opening ceremony that was graced by Philspada Davao president James Infiesto and PSC staff.
The mayor, in a written speech, thanked PSC for the support it has shown to young differently-abled Dabawenyos by organizing the Para Games.
The mayor also said that the activity is a good opportunity for participants to showcase their skills and talents while fostering camaraderie within the community through fair, healthy, and friendly competition, adding that the event is significant as it not only benefits differently-abled athletes and sports enthusiasts but it also changes society's perception of people with disabilities.
“To the PSC and National Council on Disability Affairs, may you continue to support our fellow Filipinos with disability, rest assured, we at the City Government of Davao will continue to support endeavors that push for a more inclusive society,” Duterte-Carpio said.
John Faundo, executive staff of the office of PSC commissioner Arnold Agustin, said this activity aims to unite person with disability (PWD) through sports as a platform.
“As per sir James Infiesto, a member of the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) board of directors, ni reach out nila yung mga pa dissolve na na PWD organizations through this event. This is historical kasi niabot nila yung mga pawala nang organizations, and that is one of the main missions of the 2018 Davao Para Games,” Faundo said.
The program is under the office of PSC Commissioner Agustin in line with the grassroots development program of the national sports agency.
The chess and goal ball competition were still ongoing as of Saturday at UM Gym while athletics was staged at the People's Park.
In athletics, Ana May Militar captured the female visually impaired division gold medal after checking in at 48.8 seconds to beat closest rival Cherry Mae Osabel who clocked 51.8 seconds.
Jessie Apat Apat timed a total of 44.7 seconds to win the male visually impaired 200-meter division over Richard Cubillas (53.1) and Jonathan Español (43.3) who placed second and third, respectively.
Over at Barangay 35-D covered court, the Association for the Differently Abled Person (Adap) Village beat PWD Team, 25-17, to secure an outright finals berth in the male wheelchair basketball event.
Since there were only three entries in the event, whoever shall win between the PWD Team and Mindanao Association of Muslim with Disability showdown will face Adap Village in the finals.
The volleyball event was played at the Bolton Elementary School.
Infiesto, in an interview, said all the participants will be awarded with medals, certificate of recognition and shirts.
PSC also provided free lunch and snacks to all participants.