How dragonboat helped PWDs
MANDAUE CITY, Cebu—The goal was to help introduce recreational rehabilitation to persons with disabilities (PWD).
But the Philippine Accessible Disability Service (PADS) has achieved more, giving PWDs a chance to excel in sports and even become world champions.
A good example is PADS’ dragon boat team, which owns the distinction of being a world champion after bagging two golds in the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) World Nations Championships in Pattaya, Thailand last 2019.
For the PADS paddlers, dragon boat has indeed played a huge role in improving their lives.
Among the PADS paddlers are Jonathan dela Peña, Owen Loceno, and Verniel Faustrilla. The three were guests recently in an episode of the weekly CDN Sportstalk.
With them were the team’s new head coach Harland “Barak” Dimayuga Baraquero and PADS founder JP Maunes PADS.
Dela Peña, who started paddling in 2017, said he was an athlete before but was forced to stop because of an accident that made him a PWD.
He started with PADS as a volunteer then became a paddler. Now, he is part of the PADS Board.
“Dako kaayo ang tabang ang dragonboat sa akoang health. Unya nindot kay walay contact and yet highly competitive na sport,” he said.
(Dragonboat helped a lot with regards to my health. And what’s good about it is it is a non-contact sports but yet it is very competitive.)
Dela Peña says it is with the dragonboat team of PADS that he finally tasted being a world champion.
Now, he is hoping the team could add more world championships under its belt.
The team recently got solid backing from veteran and multi-titled dragonboat coach Coach Harland “Barak” Dimayuga Baraquero for another international campaign.
PADS is scheduled to compete in the 16th IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships in Thailand this August 7-13, 2023.
This is something Loceno is also looking forward to.
He says being part of the PADS dragonboat team has helped him in many ways.
“And it made me feel like an athlete. It’s fit for us PWDs because we’re sitting. So if you’re a weak PWD, you’ll really become stronger once you start training,” he said.
Inspiration to other PWDs
Faustrilla, meanwhile, has been a paddler for almost eight years.
He says dragonboat helped changed his life
“Dako kaayu impact sa akoa and sa community. Makita man nila na bisan ingani mi, magkugi gyud mi pag ayu. Makig compete man gani mi sa abled persons. Naabot gyud ko eight years kay ganahan man gyud ko,” he said.
(It has a huge impact in my life and the community. Now everyone sees that even if we’re just like this, we can train hard and even compete with abled persons. I reached eight years in being a paddler because I enjoy it.)
He also said that one thing that motivates the PWD team is the impact they can bring to other PWDs.
“Makahatag man sab mi inspirasyon sa lain PWD,” he said.
(We can be an inrporation to other PWDs).
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.