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Bowled Over

May 9th, 2008

Citi Hadijah, 25, from Johore, is one of the many tenpin bowlers competing for a medal in the 14th Paralympics in Kuala Lumpur (3 to 9 May). She is slow but she can sure swing the bowling ball over the pins. She has a personal style of holding the ball right up to her face, pause in concentration, before launching it.

The oldest bowler, Amaran B Bohri, 61, is from Kampong Paya Mebi, near Kuching, Sarawak. He is a veteran to this sport; he has won 3 gold medals and several other trophies, in individual and team events.

Amaran’s leg and back injuries were caused by an accident in his work place in 1995. That has not stop him from a happy family life and sports. He has six children and 20 grand children. Bowling is his favorite game.

Maizirah, 46, from Perak, is a first time bowler and she only started practicing two weeks before the games. She had just five bowling sessions at the Ipoh Parade Bowling Club before coming to this meet. She is a natural at the game and plays with a great deal of fun and enthusiasm.

She had a motor bike accident two weeks after her wedding and lost her right leg. At home she uses a pair of shoulder crutches to move about but she had to borrow a wheelchair to come to this venue. What she wishes for is a wheelchair so she can improve her mobility at home and at her sporting meets.

Maizirah’s contact no: 017 584 2639, (Please call her if you wish to donate a wheelchair).

A Star Swimmer

May 7th, 2008

Fraidden Dewan doing the butterfly

Fraidden Dewan showing his sign after the event

Sarawak swimming team

Fraidden Dewan, 22, is an Iban, a Sea Dayak from Sarawak’s 20 indigenous groups.

He is the star swimmer of the Sarawak team that is in Kuala Lumpur for the

14th paralimpiad games, 3 to 9 May.

Eight years ago, when he was helping his father cut down a tree, in his village,

Mukah, near Sibu, he slipped on wet grounds while the tree was crushing down.

The tree fell on his lower left leg and crushed it. It had to be amputated.

He only took up swimming as a sport for the disabled in 2002 and since then

he has been selected to be part of the national team. He is in individual as well

as team events and he is here to show his swimming skills. Catch him and his

team mates in action at the Bukit Jalil sport complex today.

One of his problem outside the swimming pool is the difficulty of getting a

job in his town or near by Kuching. He is now a father of a two year old son

and has a young family to support.

At the moment he lives his family and his father is an odd job worker and the

family income is not predictable. What he wished for, at the moment, is to get

some professional training and to get a good job and to continue swimming and

may take part in the Olympics, in the future.

Last photo: from the left, Fraidden, Stanley, Zam, Zul Amirul

Malaysian Paralympics

May 6th, 2008

Ahmad Amil from Kuala Lumpur getting ready to show his strength

The 14th. Malaysian paralympic games is on -3 to 9 of May – in various sporting avenues in and around Kuala Lumpur. There are more then a thousand athletes, from all over the country, gathering for this biannual sporting event.

Some of the athletes are competing for the first time and this experience of doing their sport, at the national stadiums, whether they win or lose, will add to their personal pride and also that of their family and community. Many are veterans in the games and they are here to show their self-worth.

Beside the competitive spirit in the games there is also the friendship and sharing of personal and sporting experiences among the disabled athletes. They are all housed in the sporting village in Bangi area, near to the Bukit Jalil sports complex, where most of the track and field and swimming events will take place.

This sporting event means a great deal to the disabled groups who have all trained hard over the years to show off their skills and competence. However this sporting event sadly does not get the media coverage it deserved as compared to the more main stream local and international sporting news. This neglect and discrimination by the newspaper and TV stations, to highlight the disabled in sport, lamentably, leads to the public’s lack of information and interest in the other fellow citizens’ sporting culture.

For more information of the games contact (main secretariat) Noraini Mohamad, 013-2027 930, Norimah: 03 2273 9293, Julia: 012 4045 738.

Top photo: Yee Gan Chee from Penang, powerlifting; Bottom photo: Ahmad Amil from Kuala Lumpur getting ready to show his strength.