MANILA -- Citibank has expressed its full support for Philippine Paralympians Adeline Ancheta and Jerrold Mangliwan ahead of next year's 10th Asean Para Games.
In a press conference on Monday at Treston International College in Taguig, the bank announced that both Ancheta and Mangliwan are now part of "Team Citi".
Ancheta and Mangliwan are now part of an elite group of para athletes across the globe playing in 13 different sports.
"This is a truly inspiring moment. I am honored to be part of an elite global group of para athletes promoting the vision of a society that is inclusive of all," said Ancheta, the heavy favorite to win the powerlifting competition for the Asean Para Games, which the Philippines will host from Jan. 18 to 25, 2020.
Since winning the bronze medal in the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney, Ancheta added seven Asean Para Games golds and two Asian Para Games silvers to her portfolio.
Mangliwan, on the other hand, is no pushover as the wheelchair racer captured two golds in the 2015 Asean Para Games in Singapore and a bronze in the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta.
"I'm grateful and honored kasi (because) out of 42 athletes around the world, isa ako sa mga napili.
Sobrang laki ng pasasalamat ko sa Citibank (I’m one of those who have been chosen. I’m so thankful to Citibank)," Mangliwan told the Philippine News Agency in a separate interview.
Like Ancheta, Mangliwan is expected to capture gold in the Asean Para Games to be held at the newly-built at the New Clark City Athletics Stadium in Capas.
"Adeline and Jerrold are the embodiment of strength and courage in the face of adversity and are great ambassadors for Paralympic sport," Citi Philippines Chief Executive Officer Aftab Ahmed said.
“We are deeply honored to have them as part of Team Citi,” he added.
On the other hand, Philippine Paralympic Committee president Michael Barredo sees the new partnership between Ancheta and Mangliwan, and Citibank as a starting point for more people to give their support for the local differently-abled athletes.
"We need to be able to work towards a shared vision and get more people from all sectors of society to engage and involve themselves in the cause of Paralympic sports," Barredo said. (PNA)