The ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN: Rising Above Challenges and Sustaining Growth (Ha Noi, June 2020) highlights the need for ASEAN to continue promoting a sense of belonging in the ASEAN Community. Increasing awareness of our shared values through people-to-people exchanges will foster this regional identity.
Sports have always played an integral role in the lives of the people of ASEAN—whether as a way to maintain a healthy lifestyle, develop and enhance one’s physical and psychomotor skills, or perform at an elite level. Sports have also created a platform for healthy competition and for strengthening bonds among ASEAN athletes, athlete support personnel, and other sports stakeholders through formal sports events, such as the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, ASEAN Para Games, ASEAN University Games, and ASEAN Schools Sports Competitions. Beyond these competitions, ASEAN Member States have also hosted major sports events both at the Asian regional and international levels.
If you want to see how far women’s football has progressed in the last few years, you need to look no further than the ASEAN region, where Viet Nam and the Philippines have made history by qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023—the first time that either will play at a senior men’s or women’s FIFA World Cup. Thailand, who played at the 2015 and 2019 tournaments, could join them by qualifying via an interzonal playoff in February.
Attending sports matches and activities is a socio-cultural tradition in ASEAN. Therefore, it is essential that no segment of the population is excluded from these events on the basis of their disabilities. The increasing interest of ASEAN Member States to host major sports events has also made it necessary to ensure the accessibility and inclusivity of sports venues to all spectators.
Physical activity undertaken through travel, work, and leisure has significant mental and physical health benefits. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people who are insufficiently active are at a higher risk of death by 20-30 per cent compared to those who are active. Active adults are those with 150+ minutes of moderate-intensity equivalent activity per week and youth with at least 60+ minutes of moderate-intensity equivalent activity per day.
A workshop to improve the quality of physical education and promote sports for people with disabilities takes of.
The Sports Development Index (SDI) measures sports development by using a multi-dimensional approach. It is hoped that this index can promote positive changes in terms of health and well-being, as well as personal skills development and economic productivity.
Sports spark joy in almost every community. They are recreational, bring people together, and spur friendly conversations even among strangers. Different kinds of sports are played or watched by people from all walks of life around the globe to feel good, for a healthier lifestyle, or for some, for socio-economic reasons. ASEAN is not an exception.
The diversity of the ASEAN Community manifests in many forms, from the usual traditional arts or cuisines, to traditional sports and games. Traditional sports and games are an important part of each Member States’ intangible cultural heritage. They serve as windows to our past and provide clues to societal values and norms. They showcase similarities and differences between Member States, drive intercultural dialogue, and promote peace and cooperation between and within our societies.
ASEAN PARA SPORTS FEDERATION
It started with a noble idea to provide persons with disability (PWDs) with a competitive platform to excel in life through sports, apart from strongly driving the message of equality and inclusivity.
Building on the legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Games, ASEAN appointed 10 prominent athletes and sports officials as ASEAN Women in Sports Ambassadors in December 2021. Since then, the ambassadors have been using their influence to promote gender equality and women empowerment through sports across the region. This initiative is part of the Japan-funded ASEAN #WeScore Campaign.
Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn tells The ASEAN about the goals of ASEAN in the field of sports and the changes and challenges brought about by COVID-19. He also discussed how ASEAN Member States can promote inclusiveness in sports and support their top-ranked and world-class athletes.
1974 was a historic year for chess lovers all over the Philippines. 22-year-old Filipino, Eugene Torre, became the first Asian grandmaster after winning the silver medal at the 21st Chess Olympiad in Nice, France. His monumental legacy undeniably became an inspiration for chess players across generations, including Jasper Belarmino Rom.
One day, just three days before Eid-Al-Fitr in 2017, Kholidin fell off a 9-meter-tall coconut tree. As he was lying on the ground, he conceded his destiny to God. He prayed that if he still had time left on earth, he wanted to be a valuable man.
Kholidin had just discovered a new hobby—archery—but the fall would cost him his right hand.