IT’LL take a collective effort from the community to bring the Philippine Accessible Disability Services Inc. (Pads) a step closer to its dream of being in the Dragon Boat World Championships in Pattaya, Thailand set on Aug. 20 to 26.
Pads got the endorsement from the Philippine Dragon boat Federation (PDBF) to represent the country in the very first inclusion of the Para Division for para-athletes in the World Championships.
With the dream race around the horizon, Pads will ask help from Cebu City’s local government unit, private entities and the dragon boat community for its fund-raising event, the 2019 Cebu City Dragon boat Regatta on May 4 to 5 at the Bayfront Il Corso Mall, South Road Properties in Cebu City.
“It will need a lot of resources to bring 50 people to Thailand, who will stay there for about 10 days. We got the idea of doing this event and other fund-raising activities for us to come up with our financial needs,” said JP Maunes in a press conference at Quest Hotel on Tuesday, March 26.
Making it to the world’s biggest stage is a dream come true for each and every Pads paddler.
“Pads came to us and it was timely since the Para Division was added in the World Championships. So we selected them because we know the capability of Pads. Personally, I am one of the fans of Pads,” said PDBF president Nyllressan Factolarin.
Also present in the press conference were PDBF secretary general Atty. Jay Pee Villanueva, Quest hotel general manager Mia Singson Leone, Il Corso Filinvest Lifemalls marketing manager George Calles and local government representatives.
Aside from the dragon boat race, Pads will also host a fun run in June as part of its fund-raising activities.
When asked if there will be support from the National Government for the paddlers in the World Championships, the PDBF officials said that they’re trying to communicate with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for the upcoming World Championships.
“Unfortunately, the PDBF is no longer the national sports association for dragon boat, so we don’t have the budget,” said Villanueva.
Maunes said that if they get to the World Championships, they’re hoping to make an impact and make the country proud with a respectable finish.
“Since we are already here, might as well dream big. We want to stand in the podium and experience it while our national anthem is playing. We trust our members and their capabilities,” he said.
“As the captain, I remind my teammates to appreciate the fact that they’re here in the team. Make sure that everyone will be there in the training four times a week. I’ll just show it to them by example,” said team captain Arnold Balais.
The PDBF will provide the technical assistance and other technical-related work to make sure of a fair and enjoyable race in the 2019 Cebu City Dragon Boat Regatta.
The organizers said the Philippine Army, the Air Force, and teams from Manila, Ormoc, Negros, Dumaguete and Surigao, among others, will be in Cebu to participate in the two-day event. (RSC)