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11 countries join the 6th ASEAN Para Games 2011 in Solo, Central Java

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After staging the 26th SEA Games in grand style in

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After staging the 26th SEA Games in grand style in Palembang and Jakarta, Indonesia continues to burn the spirit of sports competition among Southeast Asian countries through the 6th ASEAN Para Games, which gets underway from December 15-20, 2011, in Solo, Central Java.

Patterned after the Paralympic Games, the ASEAN Para Games (APG) is a bi-annual regional multisports event held after every South East Asian Games. Here, physically-challenged athletes with mobility and visual disabilities, amputees, or those with cerebral palsy from ASEAN member nations – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Timor Leste – will compete in these games. For Timor Leste, this will be the first opportunity for the young country to participate in the event.

About 2,000 athletes are expected to take part in the special sports competitions, and with the additions of coaches and officials, the number of total participants is predicted to reach 3,000. As host country, Indonesia will send around 200 athletes to compete. Athletes will compete in 11 categories comprising: athletics, power lifting, swimming, archery, table tennis, wheelchair tennis, chess, badminton, goal ball, bowling, and sitting volley, in approximately 400 competitions.

Contingents from participating countries are reported to have arrived at Wisma Atlet (Athlete’s Residence) in Donohudan, Boyolali, Central Java. Guest house coordinator, Tur Marganingsih, stated that the contingents from all 11 countries competing for the APG have arrived at Wisma Atlet, with the latest being Thailand and Singapore, who arrived on Tuesday, December 13, 2011. The Thai contingent had 285 members who came in groups with the last batch of 100 athletes arriving on Tuesday.

The Philippines contingent totaled 65, consisting of athletes and officials, the Malaysian 163, the Cambodian 26, the Laotian 11, the Myanmarese 57, the Singaporean 65, the Vietnamese 179, the Timor Lestese 21, and the Indonesian 368. “Currently, the number of athletes and officials who have arrived at Donohudan total 1,262,” she added, as reported by antaranews.com.

The 6th ASEAN Para Games 2011 will also commence with a grand opening ceremony, highlighted with strong Javanese culture illustrating the city’s slogan: the Spirit of Java.

Centered at Manahan Stadium, the city’s biggest sports arena, the opening ceremony will be filled with Javanese traditional batik nuances, and featuring Javanese traditional and contemporary dances. “The dances will take on themes from the Wayang or shadow puppets characters, such as Gatotkaca, Cakil, and Srikandi,” stated the head of the Tourism and Culture office of Solo. While Deni Malik, choreographer for the opening ceremony, mentioned that considering that Solo is highly known for its batik, there will be a colossal dance involving 100 dancers wearing batik, which collectively measure up to 500 meters of batik.

The eternal flame, which will again be taken from Mrapen at Grobogan, Central Java, will once again become the symbol to fire up the competitive spirit of sports.

And just as at the 26th SEA Games, the eternal flame will ignite the cauldron that represents the spirit of sportsmanship and competition.

Bolo Triyono, an athlete from Central Java who had won two gold and one silver medals in the Asean Para Games 2005 in the Philippines, will act as ambassador of the torch. The torch will be carried to the Manahan Stadium in Solo, where the opening ceremony will take place on December 15, 2011.

The flame itself will travel along the route from Demak to Semarang, Salatiga, Boyolali, Sukoharjo, and Karanganyar, to end in Solo.

The official website of the 6th ASEAN Para Games is: http://www.paragames-2011.com/ .

Source: antaranews.com, paragames-2011.com, metrotvnews.com via indonesia.travel

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editor

Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.