Bahrain’s Paralympic movement gathers momentum

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The Bahrain Paralympic Committee (BPC) spares no effort in its quest to help its athletes reach their full potential and succeed at the highest level.

Over the past year, BPC has undergone several positive changes, including refreshing its identity with the launch of its redesigned logo – “We are Dreamers”.

The logo is based on five core ideas encompassing the spirit of excellence, achievement, national pride, passion and Paralympic vision that define the core of the committee.

“These ideas, visually expressed in this illustration, transcend different personalities, abilities and obstacles to create a framework in which our shared story can be told. A story that can be told in many ways, in all languages, for different audiences, everything by systematically expressing a common objective ”, explained the secretary general of the BPC, Ali Mohamed Al Majed.

“The BPC feels that the way we act and communicate inspires people to do new things and think differently. Our communications are powerful, simple, direct, inspire action, and help motivate people to unleash the transformative power and joy of sport.

Since the inception of BPC in January 2019, the country’s Paralympic Movement has taken a new direction with the Bahrain Disabled Sports Federation (BSFD), Special Olympics, the Bahrain Deaf Sports Association and 13 other federations under of its aegis. Previously, the BSFD was the official body responsible for para sports in the country.

“BSFD’s focus was primarily on participation in sporting events only, and sporting events were limited to the number of sports that were under them, to the exclusion of any other federation. Now, all these federations have the full support of the AFN Bahrain to participate in different para sports – locally, regionally and internationally, ”added Al Majed.

Empower para-athletes

“The Bahrain Paralympic Committee strives to inspire social transformation towards a more inclusive Bahraini society by enabling people with disabilities to participate in sport at all levels. The BPC spreads the Paralympic movement by enabling para-athletes to achieve sporting success, alleviating all constraints, increasing capacity and working with partners, ”said Al Majed.

In addition, the BPC also works with private and government educational organizations (universities, schools and institutes) to set up support tools for physical education instructors in order to motivate them to hire disabled students of different ages in adapted or even normal physical activities.

The BPC also organizes public awareness events to motivate not only people with disabilities, but also people with disabilities, especially young people.

“We are also working with the Ministry of Public Works, Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning to transform the main sports venues so that they are fully accessible. And it will not stop only here, because a study is underway between the two parties, which examines all public facilities such as shopping malls, hotels, roads and many other facilities to make them fully accessible ”, did he declare.

EQUIPMENT: Wheelchair basketball players from Bahrain during a training session.

PCB

On the way to Tokyo 2020

Currently, the country has 389 active para-athletes from different federations and associations, seven of which have the caliber to represent the Kingdom of Bahrain at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games this summer.

Al Majed said, “All of these para-athletes are provided with coaches, training plans, rehabilitation programs, transportation services, etc. Additionally, online workouts were provided to all para-athletes during the lockdown. A local championship was also organized after the confinement to put them back in the competitive mode and environment.

“There are also training camps coming up – local and international – as part of their preparation for the qualifying championships as well as the road map to Tokyo 2020. There are local sponsors who have already volunteered to help. sponsor some of our para-athletes. ”

Since its first appearance at the 1984 Paralympic Games, Bahrain has so far achieved a total of 10 Games medals, including two gold. At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, the country secured its first female Paralympic champion in Fatema Nedham when she won gold in the F53 shot put.

In Tokyo 2020, the BPC expects to further inflate the medal count.

“In recent years, our Bahraini para-athletes have won many medals. Therefore, for Tokyo 2020, we would like all our athletes to win more medals for themselves and for the Kingdom of Bahrain, ”he added.

Leave a legacy

Additionally, the country’s Paralympic movement received major momentum with the handover of the 2021 Asian Youth Paralympic Games and 2022 West Asian Paralympic Games.

Al Majed admitted that these Games will strengthen the Paralympic Movement in the region and more specifically, in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

“The Games will raise awareness in Bahraini society about the capabilities of people with disabilities and their importance in contributing to society, the economy and the country. It will also help recruit and develop new potential para-athletes in Bahrain, the GCC and Asia; provide high-quality competitive opportunities to enhance the sporting excellence of young Paras; also provide educational opportunities for young para-athletes and coaches; nurture friendship and strengthen unity within Asia and leave a legacy.


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