Striving For Equality: Indonesian Government Offers Para-Athletes the Same Amount of Rewards and Incentives as It Does for Non-Disabled Athletes
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Solo - The tagline 'striving for equality' that is raised in the ASEAN Paragames Solo 2022 is well received by athletes and officials of Indonesian paralympic sports. They felt real attention for the sports welfare of people with disabilities.
President Jokowi since Asian Para Games 2018 has emphasized equality for people with disabilities and non-disabled persons. One of the concrete efforts is by providing equal facilities and incentives for athletes and para- athletes.
Indonesia's mainstay para badminton athlete, Hafizh Briliansyah Prawiranegara admitted it during a press conference, Saturday, July 30 at the Ministry of Communications and Informatics’s ASEAN Para Games Solo 2022 Media Center. According to Hafizh, the appreciation he received is equal to what is given to non-disabled athletes.
"The incentives are the same, we also get a house and the opportunity to be ASN (State Civil Apparatus) too. So, all are the same, there is no difference," explained Hafizh.
Athletes and officials of the Indonesian contingent said they are pleased with the government's preparations to encourage athletes’ achievement at the 11th ASEAN Para Games.
The Indonesian Para badminton trainer, Yunita Ambar Wulandari, thanked the government and all parties who supports progress on behalf of the nation.
"In our hearts, with the current facilities, the athletes are very grateful. Equality is not in doubt," said Yunita
Indonesian para athletics coach Akhmad Azlan also expressed the same, at the Swiss Belhotel, Surakarta, ahead of the opening of the ASEAN Para Games 2022 which will be held Saturday night,July 30.
"The preparations are good, everything has been prepared by the committee, all we have to do is go to hotel, do practice, take a rest, and prepare for the competition," he said.
Azlan appreciated the government's efforts to strive for equality for people with disabilities as now highlighted at the ASEAN Para Games Solo 2022 sports event.
"We get better facilities, such as allowance per month, cash bonuses. Before, it was not the same, now it is the same as non-disabled. All bonuses, allowance, equipment are all the same," he explained.
Indonesian paralympic discus throw and shot put athlete, Alan Sastra Ginting said that facilities from the government has motivated para- athletes.
"The incentives are great. What non-disabled athletes receive and what we receive are the same. The government really supports the athletes here. This motivates us to compete maximally," said the man who has been a gold medalist in the ASEAN Para Games since 2005.
Indonesia's mainstay para-athlete in the paralympic weightlifting branch, Ni Nengah Widiasih, who will compete in the 45 kg category, said that the government's facilities has improved athletes' welfare.
"We are very grateful to Indonesian government for all the support given to us because with support from the government we can achieve even better for Indonesia.
All athletes who excel experienced an economic improvement," said Ni Nengah who won gold medals at a number of ASEAN Para Games events from different categories, namely in 2013 (40 kg), 2011 (40 kg), 2015 (41 kg), 2017 (45 kg). kg).
The government's commitment to promote paralympic sports also encouraged Indonesia to take over as the host of ASEAN Para Games 2022, after Vietnam withdrew as the host.
According to Deputy IV for Sports Achievement Improvement, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Chandra Bakti, at the National Paralympic Week (Peparnas XVI Papua 2021), the Chair of the National Paralympic Committee, Senny Marbun, together with Minister of Youth and Sports Zainudin Amali, reported to President Joko Widodo about the absence of competitions for people with disabilities due to the cancellation of the ASEAN Para Games 2019 in The Philippines and the possibility of absence again after Vietnam withdrew as the host of ASEAN Para Games.
"Due to this concern, the President agreed for Indonesia to take over the position from Vietnam, so that Indonesia will host the 11th ASEAN Para Games," said Chandra.
According to Ni Nengah, the government's support to para-athletes is great, especially with the ASEAN Para Games Solo 2022, which should be in Vietnam.
"This showed that the government really supports athletes with disabilities, and the appreciation is now the same as appreciation for non-disabled athletes," said Ni Nengah.
Meanwhile, gold medalist Setyo Budi Hartanto in the long jump para athletics highlighted the Solo as the host for the ASEAN Para Games 2022. He said that he is very pleased with the facilities in the city which has the slogan 'spirit of Java', especially in sports venues which he said are disabled-friendly.
“The venues have good accessibility. Although it is not the provincial capital, it already has three synthetic fields. So, the accessibility for disabled people is very complete,” he concluded.
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