Chess included in 2017 ASEAN Para Games

MANILA — Chess will make its debut in the 2017 ASEAN Para Games to be held from Sept. 17 to 23 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Chess is considered as one of the popular sports within the ASEAN Paralympic community and its inclusion in the biennial Games was based on the Expression of Interest (EOI) findings conducted by the ASEAN Para Sports Federation (APSF), which endorsed the sport in a special meeting with the Malaysia Organizing Committee (MASOC) in Malaysia last month.

The meeting was attended by APSF President Maj. Gen. Osoth Bhavilai and Secretary-General Charnvit Munikanond, MASOC Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Seri Zolkples Embong and Technical Chairman John Ng, who is also the deputy president of the Malaysian Paralympic Council.

The 9th ASEAN Para Games has a total of 16 sports namely archery, athletics, badminton, boccia, chess, cycling, football (5-a-side and 7-a-side), goalball, powerlifting, swimming, table tennis, tenpin bowling, volleyball (sitting), wheelchair tennis and wheelchair basketball.

The events and disciplines in each sport will be finalized after consultation with their respective International Federations (IFs) and technical delegates.

An estimated 3,000 athletes and officials from 11 countries are expected to participate in the 2017 ASEAN Para Games which will have the biggest number of sports to be contested since the inaugural Games hosted by Malaysia in 2001. There were 15 sports in Singapore (2015), 12 in Myanmar (2013) and 11 in Indonesia (2011).

The ASEAN Para Games, which is a multi-sport competition for athletes with disabilities, is held every after the Southeast Asian Games.

The Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled (PHILSPADA), which is headed by Michael Barredo, is the national sports association in charge of sending athletes to the ASEAN Para Games.

The most prominent members of the PHILSPADA national team are 2000 Sydney Paralympics bronze medalist Adeline Dumapong (powerlifter) and 2016 Rio Paralympics bronze medalist Josephine Medina (table tennis).