SATURDAY, AUGUST 15, 1992
PERAK'S DISABLED GOING AGAINST THE ODDS
PERAK'S participants in the coming National Sports for the Disabled
to be staged in Kuala Terengganu are training hard despite the constraints
Four paraplegics have been selected by the Ipoh-based Yayasan Sultan
Idris Shah for the Disabled to compete in the sports for the first time.
Anbalagan Kalimuthu, 32; Choo Kim Lan, 33; David Amasu, 23; and Swarm
Singh, 33, are enthusiastic about the sports and have been training
hard for the wheelchair race, shot put and javelin events.
Swarm Singh, the team captain, said although they faced a lack of facilities
including racing wheelchairs they hoped to provide some competition
especially against the better-equipped Selangor participants.
They train every Tuesday and Thursday at the Tapian Gelanggang in Ipoh.
Most of the training involves development of the upper body to make
up for the loss of leg power.
Saraspathy Sambasivam, co-ordinator of the Perak Spinal Wheeler's Club,
said the four were among the best selected from the club to take part
in the games from Monday to Friday.
"The games will also give them an opportunity for social interaction
and help them build their self-esteem."
Choo, the only woman participant and medal prospect, trains daily and
is able to beat most of the male competitors from Perak.
The athlete from Jeram fell from a tree at the age of 16 and has been
paralysed from the waist down ever since.
Ambalagan, a former military personnel with the 11th Commandos based
in Sungai Udang Camp, Malacca, had a parachuting accident eight years
ago. He will be competing in the 100m and 200m wheelchair races.