South Korea to pay air fares for disabled athletes to games

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday, June 8th 2011

THE South Korean government has offered to pay the airfares for all Papua New Guinea people with disability to attend the 8th International Abilympics in Seoul.
The event is scheduled for Sept 25-30 and expects 2,500 participants and delegations, including the invited guests and visitors.
The International Abilympics is a string of two words “Ability” and “Olympics” meaning a skills contest for person with disabilities.
Forest Minister and Nawaeb MP Timothy Bonga revealed this after his visit to South Korea last month.
Bonga met Seoul 2011 International Abilympics organising committee general secretary, Bo-ik-Hwang who told him of what the South Korean government was prepared to do.
Bonga’s visit to Korea was part of the ministry’s wider effort to enhance relationship between the two governments and the private sector.
He was overwhelmed by the offer for PNG disabled people to attend such an international event.
Bonga told Hwang he would officially tell Sports Minister Philemon Embel about the offer.
He was impressed with South Korea’s Abilympics Centre (aT Centre) when he visited the site.
Hwang said the South Korean government aimed to improve functional skills, increase employment rate, including the recognitions of people with disabilities occupational skills.
“For these reasons, the government has made a huge commitment in setting up such facilities.”
Hwang said highly skilled persons with disability from around the world would take part in the skills contest in 40 categories.
The areas will include exhibitions, demonstration, international symposium, vocational skills, leisure and living skill contest.
The basic courses for vocational skills contest will be hosted this year for persons with significant disabilities while the international symposium will be held to share disability issues throughout the world that includes good examples of employment to strengthen international cooperation among international experts on disability.
“International experts on disability, professionals of international organisations, government and business representatives will also do presentation at the symposium,” Hwang said.
He said the event is held every four years since 1981 and was first staged in Japan.
The event will be held at aT Centre and Olympic Hall (Olympic Park) in Seoul.