Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam said yesterday that he hopes the participation of a Macau delegation in the 10th National Games for Persons with Disabilities will serve to “build bridges” between the local Association and its mainland counterparts.
Tam was speaking to the delegation of 73 people that will represent Macau in the Games – which will take place in Tianjin from August 25 to September 1 – in a ceremony held at the Government’s Headquarters yesterday afternoon.
To the delegation, Tam said, “I hope that besides the competition, the Macau [delegation] can establish and create friendships and relations with its counterparts from other cities of China,” adding that he also hopes that such a relationship will result in more activities relating to sports for people with disabilities in the future.
Tam also said he hopes that the participation of these athletes, as others have done before them, “can raise awareness for the Macau communities and namely the school institutions to encourage people with disabilities in the practice of sports so they can raise their physical capacities, contributing to the development of sports for disabled people and the integration of [disabled] people in the society.”
The delegation, which includes a total of 45 athletes, will compete in six different sports such as Boccia, Bocce, Para-Badminton, Para-Table tennis, Para-athletics, and Para-swimming, and includes athletes with motor, hearing and mental disabilities.
Similarly to Tam, the Chief of Delegation, António Fernandes, said he hoped that the local athletes can achieve good results in the games, thanking the government for the support provided to the athletes and delegation, saying, “We will [do] our best to attain good results and to dignify the name of Macau,” Fernandes said.
After the speeches, Tam performed the traditional ceremony of handing the Macau flag to the Chief of Delegation, a ceremony usually performed by the Chief Executive.
Held every four years, the National Games for Persons with Disabilities runs in parallel with the Special Olympics of China, which is being held for the seventh time this year.
The China Disabled Persons Federation, together with the State General Administration of Sport, organizes the games.
When the last Games were held, in 2015, the Macau delegation participated with 13 athletes in only three sporting events (Bocce, Para-table tennis and Chess).
At the time, Macau athletes scored one gold medal and two bronze medals, all in the sporting event of Para-table tennis.