Australian Embassy donates dragon boat equipment to PADS
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Australian Embassy in the Philippines on Thursday, donated various dragon boat equipment to the Philippine Accessible Disability Services Inc. or PADS.
The donation was led by Australian Embassy in the Philippines Direct Aid Project through Global Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls Christine Clarke and Development First Secretary Paul Harrington at the PADS’ headquarters in Umapad, Mandaue City.
Donated items include various sets of life vests, high-quality paddles, and a brand-new rowing machine.
PADS founder and team manager John Paul “JP” Ecarma Maunes expressed his gratitude during the turnover ceremony.
Maunes revealed that the Australian Embassy’s help was timely since they’re having a restoration project to repair or replace damaged and old equipment, especially those damaged by Typhoon Odette last December.
One of the best pieces of equipment PADS received Maunes said was the brand-new rowing machine, the Kayak Pro OIM dragon boat/outrigger ergometer.
Maunes said that they’re the first team in the Philippines to receive such modern equipment.
The donated equipment will be used for the group’s future competitions, clinics, and training.
“We are truly grateful for the support of the Australian Embassy and for Australian Global Ambassador for Women and Girls Christine Clarke and Development First Secretary Paul Harrington for personally attending the formal turnover of our sporting equipment despite their hectic schedule,” said Maunes.
“The event today is truly a remarkable gesture of support by the Australian government to the vital role of PADS in the advancement of social change through the promotion of social inclusion for Filipinos with disabilities, women, and girls through sports and rehabilitation.”
It can be recalled that PADS etched its name in Philippine dragon boat history after bagging four gold medals in the International Dragon Boat Federation’s (IDBF) 13th Club Crew World Championships in Sarasota, Florida last July.
They became the first Filipino para dragon boat team to achieve such a feat.
“We remember our humble beginnings as a team a few years ago, that most of our athletes would only dream of having these equipment because we cannot afford them. We can still remember, we would wait for other athletes from other teams to allow us to use their paddles and boat. Magtulo jud amoa laway. Then we prayed that one day we will be able to get one,” added Maunes.
“We are truly blessed to receive the generosity and friendship from the Australian Embassy which was developed over the years through the impacts of our advocacy work.” /rcg
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