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Freeman Cebu Sports

Cebu’s PADS wins historic gold in Hong Kong Dragon Boat tilt

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman
  Cebuâs PADS wins historic gold in Hong Kong Dragon Boat tilt

The members of the Cebu-based Philippine Accessibility Disability Services, Inc. (PADS) Adaptive Dragon Boat Racing Team jubilate after winning their first international race via the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival at the Victoria Harbour the other day.

CEBU, Philippines - They may have physical disabilities but their spirits are high, paving the way for the Cebu-based Philippine Accessibility Disability Services, Inc. (PADS) Adaptive Dragon Boat Racing Team to emerge victorious in its first international race via the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival at the Victoria Harbour the other day.

Led by indefatigable Arnold Balais, a well-rounded athlete, PADS donned the Philippine colors in the para-dragon category where they fought it out against four teams from Hong Kong and one each from United Kingdom and Singapore.

It was a mixed standard race. Each team is composed of 14 male and four female plus the drummer and steersman for a total of 20 members  that are either blind, deaf or amputee among other differently-abled invidividuals.

During their first race, the differently-abled Cebuano paddlers lost to an HK team, which is the defending champion, by just 25 miliseconds. However, when they met again in the finals, they bounced back decisively enroute to frustrate the hosts by seven seconds to claim their breakthrough gold medal.

PADS has already joined several races, but they usually compete against able-bodied paddlers.

The team wanted to prove to the rest that even with physical defects, life can still be enjoyed to the fullest.

“As their team captain, I reminded them na ito na yung pinaghirapan natin sa training. Let’s get the gold. Kaya natin to!” said Balais. Their team trains regularly at the Mactan channel where the current is strong that only the brave and the determined make good.

Balais said they were also more inspired to go for gold after seeing their fellow Pinoys cheering and rooting for them. (FREEMAN)

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