Olympians and Paralympians unite for Philippines Olympic Day
24 | 6 | 2019
Under the theme unity and transformation through sports, Olympians in the Philippines have been working with their Paralympic counterparts to promote inclusion for Olympic Day.
2000 people joined celebrations at the University of the Philippines Diliman on Saturday aimed at building awareness and funds for the country’s Paralympians, while also seeking to raise the profile of para-sport in society.
The event – a joint celebration between the Philippines Olympians Association (POA) and the National Olympic and Paralympic Committees – started off with a torch relay, before an Olympic Day walk was held to raise money for para-athletes. Booths were also set up promoting accessible and adapted sports, including Arnis, the national sport and martial art of the Philippines, athletics, chess and skateboarding, so people could experience how a para-athlete might take part.
Nine Olympians took part in activities, teaming up with Paralympians, sponsors and others to make the day a success.
Caring for the environment was also a key element of the day – during the torch relay 1,000 seedlings were distributed to participants to plant as a way to encourage everyone to respect the environment we live in. The Philippines Olympians Association also donated eight native Palawan cherry blossom trees to the university to plant on its campus.
“The purpose of the day was to build unity and highlight the transformative power of sport,” said Akiko Thomson-Guevara OLY, President of the POA. “We wanted to create a really fun event that sent a powerful message about the importance of inclusion in society and also about the need to care for and respect the environment. We were grateful to work alongside the Philippines Olympic and Paralympic Committees to achieve this.”