Last Wednesday July 1, the US Embassy Manila sponsored a sports clinic for Pinoys With Disabilities. This event was an echo of a similar celebration for the US Americans with Disabilities Act. This event saw some of the PBA’s popular basketball guys from the Alaska Aces coaching and mentoring PWD athletes on how to shoot hoops. US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg himself shot some hoops with the PWD athletes.
|Ambassador Philip Goldberg’s winning shot|
Pasay City Mayor Tony Calixto also supported the PWDs by gracing the event and giving a few inspirational words. On hand were members of the Alaska Aces who gave their time and expertise to the PWD athletes some from the Tahanang Walang Hagdan and from other organizations.
|Waiting for the speakers to officially announce the start of the festivities.|
In an interview American Ambassador Goldberg expressed the desire of the US Embassy to help raise awareness for the need to improve access to our PWD brothers and sisters. He furthered that because of this need the American Embassy itself is going through extensive renovation to ensure safe access for Pinoys with disabilities lining up for visa applications or American nationals availing of the embassy’s services.
|Ambassador Goldberg photo op with PWD athletes|
Hopefully there will be more events and sponsorships from foreign governments and institutions that will help raise awareness for the PWD athletes. Many people have yet to appreciate the talents of PWD athletes. People who want to join sports and compete should be able to do so, disabled or otherwise. The spirit of competition should be encouraged in all PWDs because the desire to excel is innate in every person, the foundation of every human being’s self-esteem. The PWD community has struggled long enough with the unwanted feelings of unworthiness, when the opposite is very much true. PWDs are as good athletes as any. Maybe even better.
|Addressing the PWD athlete participants along with their mentors from the Alaska Aces|