The four-world record holder and the only Paradragon boat team in the Philippines thanked Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino after winning the 14th International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) World Dragon Boat Championships in Pattaya, Thailand last August.
After winning the first Paradragon Boat Competition last August 20-25, the Philippine Accessible Disability Services Inc., (PADS) Adaptive Dragonboat Racing Team paid a courtesy visit to Secretary Dino last September 16, Tuesday.
The all-Cebuano team thanked Secretary Dino for being one of the vital reasons why the team was able to compete in international competitions. “We are very thankful sa OPAV through Secretary Mike kay when we started three years ago, we started without any equipment, especially without an international standard dragon boat.
Through Secretary Mike’s effort, nag-fundraise sila niya and natagaan ta og bag-ong boat, through the Sacred Heart School for Boys Batch 85 Foundation,” said John Paul Maunes, Chief Executive Officer and Team Manager of PADS Adaptive Dragonboat Racing Team.
The Sacred Heart School for Boys Batch 85 Foundation helped the team in raising funds to buy an international standard dragon boat. Their team, composed of 28 paddlers and 8 coaching staffs, won four world gold medals, two silvers, and four bronze medals.
Maunes who founded PADS said that he established the organization to give persons with disabilities (PWDs) access to rehabilitation services as an alternative to expensive rehab centers. “We want to weaponize sports para ma change ang perspective sa mga tawo, matangtang ang negativity nila or mga condescending nga attitudes in regards to disability,” added Maunes. Secretary Dino on his part congratulated the team and promised to help the team in their future competitions both here in the Philippines and abroad.
The team is set to compete in international competitions next year. The line-up of competitions are the Asian Cup in June to be held in Hongkong; Club World Championships in August, to be held in France; and, World Cup of Nations on November, again to be held in Hongkong. PADs members are also hoping that the Philippine Sports Commission will recognize them as the official Paradragon Boat Team in the Philippines.