The 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games were held here in the Philippines from the end of November to early December of the year before. Despite concerns about expenses and issues regarding services and facilities offered to the visiting athletic delegations and guests the multi-event sports gathering was quite successfully executed. The SEA Games is also like other major international sporting meet like the Olympics in that it has a brother event geared for differently-abled competitors. This is the ASEAN Para Games, the 10th edition of which would be held also here in the Philippines; or at least it would be kicking off soon if not for a certain viral outbreak.
The Philippine Star reports that the 2020 ASEAN Para Games which were supposed to follow not long after the 2019 SEA Games has been postponed on account of the novel coronavirus global outbreak which has affected multiple countries including host the Philippines and several participating nations. The official announcement calling off the biennial Para Games was given Monday, February 10 by Philippine Paralympic Committee president Mike Barredo, after he received recommendation to do so by the ASEAN Federation in Thailand.
But before the ASEAN governing body decided upon this course of events, local pressure to put off the start of the Para Games to minimize the risk of spreading the nCoV further had come from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the primary financial provider for the event here. This is in line with the recently announced measures being undertaken by the national government as contingency to prevent more people from catching the virus that originated from Wuhan, China. Barredo’s vice president in the PPC Tom Carrasco cannot give a definitive alternate starting date for the games, which will be held primarily at New Clark City just like its brother event the SEA Games last year.
Unlike the 2020 PBA season, which was similarly postponed to avoid the brunt of the novel coronavirus scare but will be assured to start this coming March, the 10th ASEAN Para Games does not have a definitive day of the year when it can be expected to begin. Carrasco opines that the ASEAN Federation could give it any time from May to September this year, but it is not sure. Meanwhile, some buildings of the SEA Games Athletes’ Village in Capas, Tarlac are already being utilized as a quarantine center for patients under investigation of having the novel coronavirus infection.
Image: The Sun Daily