Sports and rehab center for PWDs to rise in Mandaue

THE Philippine Accessible Disability Services Inc. (Pads) broke ground Wednesday, June 22, 2022, for its first Adaptive Sports and Rehabilitation Center in the country located at Pajara Park, Umapad, Mandaue City, Cebu.The Pads’ Adaptive Sports and Recreational Rehab program was launched in 2016 through direct aid from the Australian Embassy in the Philippines.Wednesday’s groundbreaking of the two-story rehabilitation center, worth approximately P5 million, was aimed to widen Pads’ scope by making the facility accessible soon to indigents and people with disabilities in Mandaue and neighboring cities for free.“We’re truly grateful for this day… This is five years in the making for this project. [In] 2016, we were just dreaming of having a rehab center [and] we really worked hard together with our partners,” John Paul Maunes, chief executive officer and founder of Pads, said in an interview Wednesday.“We’re grateful to [the] Australian Embassy who has been there since day one of our program,” he added.He said the center will be funded by different groups, including the Mandaue City Government and Australian Embassy, which has pledged to shoulder the repair of damaged equipment and purchase of new ones.The Mandaue City Government provided the lot where the center will be built, and will shoulder the flooring of the center, as well as it ramps for persons with disabilities, he added.Maunes also said that they aim to make the center a world-class facility, stressing it will become a center for excellence in research work and best practices in adaptive sports and recreational and rehabilitation in the Philippines.James Yeomans, acting deputy head of mission of the Australian Embassy to the Philippines, said they have been supporting Pads because they knew the good work it has been doing, adding that they want to help the people with disabilities in enhancing their skills in sports through the soon-to-be-built facility.Dragon boat teamThe Pads will represent the Philippines in the 13th International Dragon Boat Federation, Club Crew World Championships, which is scheduled on July 18-26 in Sarasota, United States of America.“Para namo nga disabled, sa among sports nga [paddle], grabi mi kalipay kay bali mapun-an ang among sports sa karon nga umaabot…mayta puhon mapun-an na ang among sports ug ma fit pa gyud ug maayo ang among preperasyon sa umaabot nga duwa karon,” said Bert Clinton, a paddler from Pads.Another paddler, Jose Revel Sotes, said the new rehabilitation center will be a great help for them especially in their trainings.The Pads dragon boat team, composed mostly of persons with disabilities, made history in the Philippine sports by bagging four gold medals and a new world record for the fastest paradragon boating in the IDBF, Dragon Boat World Championship held in August 2019. (Jeanie Mea Pitor, CNU intern)