NEW STRAITS TIMES
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 facing them.

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.