By Gab Ferreras, contributing writer
Even she didn't make it into the Team Pilipinas roster, 2000 Sydney Paralympics bronze medalist Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta believes that it is the right time to find solutions to address the para-athletes need in order to perform better in future international competitions.
When the quarantine restrictions began in March 2020, the country's para-athletes are struggled in their training program due to lack of accessible venues for their training bubbles, while their main training site in the Philsports Complex in Pasig is closed, as they currently used as a quarantine site.
Like other para-athletes, Adeline appeals to look for a better PWD-friendly training venue for them.
"Merong pangailangan na dapat tugunan para sa taong may kapansanan na dapat okay ang wheelchair, hindi lang ang venue itself kundi kung saan ito titira, accesible ba yun, pwede ba ang wheelchair doon, importanteng-importante lalo na pagdating sa CR, bilang tao kailangan talaga yun. Pero heto yung mga sa tingin ko na medyo nakakaligtaan o nakakaoverlooked sapagkat wala kasi may kapansanan sa nagdedesisyon.", Dumapong said during the TOPS Usapang Sports on Air forum last week, being shown on Sports on Air social media accounts.
While she personally thanked the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for their continous support, Dumapong appeals to the legislators to amend the RA 10699 that will give equal payouts of cash incentives between the Olympians and the Paralympians alike.
"Alam ko na meron ulit isinusulong na hopefully na maamyendahan ulit yun para dumating na ang panahon na sana talagang pantay niya.", Dumapong added.
Dumapong, who didn't make it into Tokyo Paralympics due to lack of training and the cancellation of para-powerlifting qualifiers due to the ongoing pandemic, also gave personal thoughts on the country's campaign in the Tokyo Paralympics, where the country did not earn any medal from 3 para-athletes who saw action.
"Yung ating mga atleta, bilib ako sa mga atleta namin sa Paralympics kasi tinanong ko sila. I've always being touched with them na kumusta na sila, sige laban lang, bahala na, nandito na. Makikita mo pa rin ang pusong pilipino na lalaban. Anuman ang mangyari dahil nandoon na sila, nandoon ang pagiging pusong pilipino na lalaban hanggang huli pero yung nga Olympics is the top act to follow for the Paralympics lalo na this time but hopefully isa naman itong inspiration and motivation to really strive for the better results for the next Paralympics.", Dumapong concluded.
Meanwhile, Adeline personally consoles with the family of her fellow 2016 Rio Paralympian Josephine Medina who died hours after her scheduled TOPS interview.