Elementary school students in the Japanese city of Ise have designed the official uniform for the Lao Para Athletics team for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Paralympics scheduled between August and September.
Ise City in Mie prefecture is serving as a host town to the Lao Para Athletics team, who are aiming for the Tokyo Paralympics.
In November last year, three elementary schools in the city held a design contest for the official uniform for the Lao Para Athletics team while they were learning the history and culture of Laos.
A total of 118 designs were submitted by 192 students, and the National Paralympic Committee of Laos chose the winner. The winning design mainly uses three colors, white, blue and red, as they are used in the flag of Laos. White is used as a whole to avoid heat and blue and red are placed on the shoulders and armpits areas.
With its motto to be “a people-friendly town,” Ise City implements policies, such as barrier-free transportation, barrier-free tourism and supporter registration system, to offer an amenable environment to persons with disabilities, according to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Behind the city’s selection as a host town lies support from Asian Development with Disabled Persons (ADDP), an NPO with deep ties to the Lao parasports through the JICA Partnership Program.
As it begins accepting para athletes into training camps to be held ahead of the Tokyo Paralympics, Ise City holds cultural exchange programs for local children with the members of the Lao Para Athletics Team and to carry out cultural exchange events inviting Laos delegation.
Laos made its Paralympic Games début at the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, sending just two representatives to compete in powerlifting.
The country did not participate in the next edition of the Games in 2004 but made its return to the Paralympics in 2008.