Inspired by the recent showing of the Philippine Paralympic team in the Asean Para Games in Cambodia, Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC) president Michael Barredo will embark on a massive recruitment of para-athletes nationwide.
“We’ve done well and improved pour performance, but there’s a lot of room for improvement,” said Barredo. “If we can have a full complement of athletes in as many sports as possible, we might get more medals. Of course, this can’t be done overnight. It will take time to grow the expansion of our para athletes’ pool.”
The Filipino para-athletes had a total haul of 34 gold medals, 33 silver and 50 bronze medals after a weeklong battle among differently abled athletes from 11 countries in Southeast Asia. It was a marked improvement from last year in Indonesia where the Philippines had 28 golds.
But the production was still far away from eventual overall champion Indonesia which collected 159 gold medals after sending more than 300 athletes while Thailand entered more to end up with 126 golds. The Philippine delegation had 172 athletes in 14 sports.
Vietnam placed third overall with 66 gold medals, 58 silvers and 77 bronzes and Malaysia fourth (50-38-35), with its simmers accounting for half of its total gold production.
Barredo believes Team Philippines can perform better if it can send more athletes to Thailand which will be the next host in 2025.
“If we can have a full complement of athletes in as many sports as possible, we might get more medals. Of course, this can’t be done overnight. It will take time to grow the expansion of our para athletes’ pool,’’ said Barredo.
Meanwhile, the para-athletics will have a victory party tonight at the Philsports in Pasig for its huge contributions to the country’s campaign, contributing a total of 10 gold medals, 10 silvers and 11 bronzes.