ASEAN Para Games opening ceremony will celebrate triumph of human spirit

ASEAN Para Games opening ceremony will celebrate triumph of human spirit

Split into five movements around the theme "Celebrate the Extraordinary", each performance will be anchored and inspired by an athlete, performer or creative team member with disabilities.

SINGAPORE: About 660 performers will take part in the upcoming ASEAN Para Games opening ceremony on Dec 3, including national para-athletes and athletes.

In a media preview on Tuesday (Oct 20), the organising committee said that the ceremony would weave formal aspects such as the oath-taking and torch relay, with performances that create a narrative celebrating the triumph of the human spirit.

Split into five movements around the theme "Celebrate the Extraordinary", each performance will be anchored and inspired by an athlete, performer or creative team member with disabilities.


Performers dancing during the media preview of the ASEAN Para Games opening ceremony. (Photo: Sherlyn Goh)

Performers will be joined by para-athletes such as swimmer Theresa Goh, wheelchair racer Raja Singh and shooter Aishah Samad.

Media Preview of the ASEAN Para Games Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony of the ASEAN Para Games on Dec 3 will celebrate the triumph of the human spirit. Here's a sneak peek of what's in store. (Video: Sherlyn Goh) http://bit.ly/1PwguuU

Posted by Channel NewsAsia Singapore on Tuesday, 20 October 2015


The audience is also encouraged to take part in these segments, such as by participating in sign language dances together with the performers.

Neoh Yew Kim, one of the performers, said: "It shows everyone ... that we are working together with people of normal hearing. To show that we are uniting as one."

"In this ASEAN Para Games, we want to celebrate the arts and sports," added Philip Tan, creative director of the opening ceremony. "This is where the audience will have the chance to enjoy a large variety of genres of music, dance, fine arts and visual arts. At the same time, we want the audience to experience even the actual games in the stadium as well. So all the 6,000 audience members will come together to experience the sound of Goalball as if they are playing the game itself."


An elderly performer takes part in a performance during the media preview of the ASEAN Para Games opening ceremony. (Photo: Sherlyn Goh)

PREPARATIONS “85 TO 90 PER CENT” COMPLETE

"The Opening Ceremony has been in preparation for the past two years," said Singapore Asean Para Games Organising Committee (Sapgoc) chairman Lim Teck Yin. "It's a very comprehensive production with good effects out of the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Mr Lim also said that part of the reason for choosing the Indoor Stadium was to "de-risk" the opening ceremony from all environmental factors such as haze and rain.

"We have to take into consideration that there are people who are attending the Opening Ceremony, performing in the Opening Ceremony with special needs, and we found that it is a lot more comfortable and practical to do it in the Indoor Stadium," said Mr Lim.

He added that preparations were "85 to 90 per cent" complete, and that Marina Bay Sands and the Sports Hub would be modifying and improving their facilities to improve accessibility for visitors and athletes in the lead up to the games.

On the actual games themselves, Mr Lim said organisers would seek to postpone events held at outdoor venues where possible, should the haze reach untenable levels. They will also consider extending competition hours or amending the sports format, in consultation with technical delegates, competition managers and team managers.

Mr Lim said: "Even as the SEA Games was a celebration in the middle of the year, this is a celebration coming at the end of all our celebrations at the end of the year. They will wrap up our Jubilee Year celebrations and I think that gives us an opportunity to tell their own story.

"We should be talking about the spirit of the people who are involved - the athletes on the one hand and their coaches and the team around the athletes, and on the other hand, all the performers and volunteers of all abilities who are stepping forward. They are proud that we are able to host the ASEAN Para Games here in Singapore and they want to be a part of it. And I think each and every one of them has their own story, and it should be told."

"When you see the spirit of our para-athletes you will know that we will find some way to overcome whatever challenges may be presented," added Mr Lim, who also encouraged the public to show the games a level of support to match the SEA Games held earlier this year.


Performers dancing during the media preview of the ASEAN Para Games opening ceremony. (Photo: Sherlyn Goh)

About 25 per cent of the 6,000 seats in the Indoor Stadium will be made available to the ASEAN public, with the rest reserved for athletes, officials, caregivers and invited guests.

Ticket sales start on Friday (Oct 23), with standard tickets priced at S$20. They can be purchased online at www.sportshubtix.sg, through the hotline at 6333 5000, at the Sports Hub Tix box office and at SingPost locations. Concessions for youth, seniors and full-time National Servicemen are also available.

Source: CNA/ww/ek