Category Archives: Sports

Tokyo 2020’s Road: Para-Swimmers Dive In As All Laos Meet Proves Milestone En Route Toward National Teams, Paralympic Dreams

Laos First National Para-Swimming Championships 2019

With just some 500 days or so to go to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, inclement weather did not stop swimmers including prospective Lao Paralympic Athletes heating up the lanes at the first national competition for para-swimmers in Laos’ capital Vientiane as 25 swimmers from 12 Laos provinces took part.

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Posted by アジアの障害者活動を支援する会(ADDP) on ວັນອາທິດ ທີ 7 ເມສາ 2019

Posted by アジアの障害者活動を支援する会(ADDP) on ວັນອາທິດ ທີ 7 ເມສາ 2019


Posted by アジアの障害者活動を支援する会(ADDP) on ວັນອາທິດ ທີ 7 ເມສາ 2019

The tournament was made up of people from various backgrounds.,

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Competitors ranged from swimmers with wide-raging representative experience to those who have practiced in rivers because there is no pool in their district.
 Popular singer and an official supporter of JICA Laos -ອົງການຮ່ວມມືສາກົນຢີ່ປຸ່ນ-  Tar Apacts lent excitement to the gathering. His track “Love is all Around” is a motivational tune that encourages hope and participation for all folk.
 In the wake of the tournament, swimmers are practicing continuously towards future competitions along the Road to Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and beyond.

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 Similarly, the hope is that the quality of Laos Para-swimming is further developed.

Posted by アジアの障害者活動を支援する会(ADDP) on ວັນອາທິດ ທີ 7 ເມສາ 2019

Asian Development with the Disabled Persons – ADDP is aiming to continue to support the potential and capacity development of Laos’ para-athletes, coaches and officials.

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Posted by アジアの障害者活動を支援する会(ADDP) on ວັນອາທິດ ທີ 7 ເມສາ 2019

The Laotian Times is proud to support these efforts.

Laos First National Para-Swimming Championships 2019

Laos First National Para-Swimming Championships 2019

Doing, Doing, Done: Can-Do Cycle Team Dai Rides On Against Odds For HOPE Children’s Charity

Cyclist Charity Team Dai on a Mountaintop!

Laos-based international cyclist charity Team Dai including keen cyclist Ms Thu Ng from Vietnam tackle multiple challenges, raise confidence levels and much-needed funds, seeking to surpass the USD15,000 donation mark for disadvantaged children’s Hope Centre. 

Thinking of cycling, in some parts of the world, and lycra-clad road warriors and their aspirants will come to mind.

In others, perhaps a leisurely cruise down a local bike path or in a park, perhaps by a lake or riverside.

Elsewhere, this is not quite the case. In the case of developing countries like Laos, cycling is often seen as hot, old fashioned, disadvantageous and even highly dangerous.

Road safety is also a malleable concept. Drink driving too often prevails, peaking during festive seasons.

You could say being a cyclist in Laos is generally no “ride in the park”.

In fact, it can be an activity that best suits the determined.

The fairly flat Vientiane plain notwithstanding, Laos is certainly a majority mountainous country.

The quality of roads can leave a great deal wanting. Its a fact that surfacing on many a Lao thoroughfare is often in a more rustic condition than you see at the neighbors. Add a very warm, tropical climate and variable air quality as issues that impact.

 

It is also a developing nation where most folks aspire to motor vehicle ownership, cycling does not convey the status it does in more developed nations.

Cycling them puts you in close contact with all the vehicles, large and small, controlled by drivers of all levels of skill, experience, and temperament.

So why would a woman cycle?

It’s a question keen rider Ms Thu Ng knows better than most.

Growing up in neighboring Vietnam before making a home with her husband from Laos, she has been living in the capital Vientiane for some years.

"This year's Team Dai Challenge was my fourth. For me, it was another great year of riding with like-minded and supportive Team Dai members." Thu Ng, cyclist

“This year’s Team Dai Challenge was my fourth. For me, it was another great year of riding with like-minded and supportive Team Dai members.” Ms Thu Ng

She comes up against reflexively scornful attitudes toward the humble bicycle and cyclists both on the streets and at home.
It’s positive health and social impacts are less understood.

Cycling can be seen as a dangerous activity and certainly not one for a woman, particularly wife or mother, to be engaged in.

Ms Thu Ng tackled her fourth Team Dai Challenge for charity raising some US$14,630 to date for the HOPE Center’s work.

She shared her thoughts on the ride from her perspective as a keen cyclist and woman.

“This year’s Team Dai Challenge was my fourth and for me, it was another great year of riding with like-minded and supportive Team Dai members.” 

“In the Asian culture in which I grew up, I normally get told that women should stay home and not risk their lives.

“This mindset makes it hard for us women to engage in what is seen as extreme sports or exercise.”

“But I am a real optimist and believe that the best part of life is having the freedom to do whatever you are passionate about.

“This is happiness and this is all about life.”

Team Dai members including Ms Thu Ng

Team Dai members including Ms Thu Ng

Similarly, she was drawn to the engaging aspect of making a contribution to the society of the country she calls home.

“It has been said that giving is a simple solution towards some of the world’s most complicated problems. 

“So every year, we volunteer our time and efforts to carry out Team Dai’s mission of raising funds to help our community.

“For me personally, the ability to give support and spread love is the very best part of every Team Dai challenge.”

Team Dai Cyclist Charity Efforts Fund HOPE

The recipient of this affection in 2019 is the HOPE Centre, a community outreach program launched by ARDA Language Centre Vientiane in 2006.

HOPE Centre helps over 200 children and youth who are at risk of abuse, exploitation, and human trafficking.

The center aims to serve the most vulnerable children and youth in the community to see them grow and develop in a healthy way and give them new hope for the future.

It does so by providing a safe environment where children begging on the streets, those living in slum communities and working could stop in during the day to bathe, receive medical care, a nutritious meal, general education and be involved in other activities including arts & crafts, music, sports and participate in special events.

Staff work alongside families living in poor communities to alleviate child labor and exploitation by helping them improve their livelihoods, parenting skills, and living conditions so that their children will have a suitable place to live and attend school.

Cyclist Charity Team Dai at HOPE Center

Cyclist Charity Team Dai at HOPE Center

Trauma counseling, educational therapy, and social skills development to child victims of abuse and exploitation help them address past experiences and move forward to lead productive lives.

Scholarships are also provided to help deter children from begging or being forced into other forms of child labor while providing enhanced educational opportunities.

Meanwhile, sporting activities including soccer and volleyball are used to divert children and youth from being drawn into a downward spiral including drug abuse.

Team Dai Cyclist Members in Luang Prabang

Team Dai Cyclists in Luang Prabang

Located at ARDA Language Centre in Vientiane, HOPE Centre welcomes every child, particularly the poor and vulnerable, a worthy cause Team Dai are proud to support.

Team Dai Cyclist Celebrates

Team Dai Cyclist Celebrates Calf-Building Charity Efforts

Home Ground Victory As Vientiane Lions’ Ladies Capture Cup at DHL 10s

The rustic charms of Chao Anouvong Stadium in Laos’ capital were rarely stronger than last weekend as rugby players left it all on the field in Vientiane at Lao Rugby‘s DHL Rugby 10’s.

LIVE DHL VIENTIANE 10s RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP

DAY 2

Posted by Lao Rugby Federation on ວັນເສົາ ທີ 26 ມັງກອນ 2019

 

As is so often the case with Lao Rugby, it was a case of ladies first.

Capturing the Cup in the Women’s Elite was Vientiane Lions.They were followed by plate winners DAC Weredragons — Banger Bells.

Meanwhile in the men’s, the Vientiane Buffalos left with the plate for runner up in the Men’s Elite.

They finished second overall only to the formidable Cup winners, the Royal Thai Airforce.

Thailand’s Roi-Et took out the men’s development cup, edging out Men’s development plate winners Lao Junior Tigers.

Also making its presence felt was the successful youth engagement initiative, Child Fund Pass it Back, which has received support from Australia. That country’s former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop famously attracted attention to the initiative on a trip to Laos during the country’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2016 as Laotian Times reported.

An initiative with its genesis in Laos and now spreading through Asia, the Child Fund Pass it Back program is currently seeing Japanese coaches in Vientiane to be trained in the methodology.

It comes as Japan also lends support to Rugby development ahead of the World Cup 2019.

DHL Rugby 10s in Vientiane, Laos

DHL Rugby 10s in Vientiane, Laos

The 2019 DHL Vientiane 10s Sponsors: DHL Rugby,DAC Management LLC, ANZ, the Pot Bellied Pigs, Anakot Consulting, Geo-Sys Lao, Yula.la, Vientiane College, DFDL Legal and Tax, the Irish Embassy in Hanoi, RedBox Storage, the 100 World Legends Organization, New Zealand Rugby Resources, and Princeton In Asia. 

DHL Rugby 10s in Vientiane, Laos

DHL Rugby 10s in Vientiane, Laos

 

 

Cuba’s President Diaz-Canel Takes East Asia Solidarity Tour to Laos

Cuba's president Diaz-Carnel in Laos

Geographically distant but with a shared solidarity born of shared experiences of struggles for independence against colonial and imperial domination and sharing similar Marxist-Leninist institutions of state governance, the nations, peoples and ruling parties of Laos and Cuba have long-shared affiliations and affections from afar.

The friendship was celebrated in close quarters over the weekend as new agreements and traditional ties between the two parties, states and peoples of Laos and Cuba were affirmed as the country’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel made a visit to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on Saturday and Sunday.

“The name Cuba, for us, means friend in another sea,” Press Agency Prensa Latina reported the Lao President Bounnhang Vorachit as saying.

After talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement on sports as well as a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the Lao and Cuban central banks.

President of Cuba’s Council of State and Council of Ministers, Diaz-Canel is the third to hold the post since the country’s revolution led by its longtime party and state leader Fidel Castro, and is understood to be a front-runner to succeed Raúl Castro as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, the most important position, at the party congress in 2021.
Diaz-Canel reportedly reaffirmed Cuba’s intention to continue to cooperate and extend further assistance to Laos in fields such as human resource development, sports, and health, with the two sides exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest.

Talks were held with Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and President of the Lao National Assembly, Ms Pany Yathotou.

The presidential visit is part of a tour that also sees official visits to Russia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, China and Vietnam.

Cuba's President Laid Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Vientiane, Laos.

Wreath laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Vientiane, Laos.

Flags of Laos and Cuba fly over That Luang Esplanade

Flags of Laos and Cuba fly over That Luang Esplanade, Vientiane, Laos

Cuba's president Diaz-Carnel in Laos

Cuba’s president Diaz-Carnel in Laos

Football Fans Look to Coach V. Sundramoorthy to Spark Magic in Laos’ Lineup

Laos Football Coach Sundramoorthy

Famed for audacious feats on the field on behalf of his native Singapore as a striker in the late 1980’s and into the 1990s, the former player now coach V. Sundramoorthy is set to guide a Laos national men’s team on the rise ahead of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup.

Known for a penchant for scoring from bicycle kicks and backheels that left opponents guessing in his playing days, Laos fans would be forgiven for hoping a bit of the coach’s trademark flair rubs off on their national team.

The V. Sundramoorthy appointment comes as Laos prepares to square up against Mongolia in the Lao capital Vientiane on October 16 in a warm-up friendly before the AFC Suzuki Cup.

The 53-year-old coach has declared that Laos must take full advantage of being able to play two of their four home matches on home soil for the first time.

“I can’t speak for the players but for me it’s very exciting and I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” AFC Suzuki Cup official website reported V. Sundramoorthy as saying.

“To be honest I know we are in a tough group with Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar and Cambodia however I believe that in football anything is possible.

“What I can assure you is that each and every player will give their best and that the team will play collectively as a strong unit and by hosting the AFF Suzuki Cup it gives us a great opportunity for Laotians to showcase their talent to the public.

“We have many young and talented players here in Laos and the aim will be to use their individual strength to forge a collective strength as a team.

“For me, I want to send a clear message to our fans and that’s we need you to be the 12th player on the pitch by lending your strong support.”

“We are going to take things one game at a time and put up a good performance in every match we play and as I said it will also be great to have the support of the local crowd behind the players. If we do that I can promise you that we will be a tough opponent for any team.”

Singaporean compatriot and Laos Football Federation’s departing technical director, Mike Wong, talked up Coach V. Sundramoorthy’s the three-year appointment, reported Fox Sports Asia.

“Laos have now got a good coach with valuable international exposure on a three-year contract. This brings stability to the Laos national team and is a huge step forward,” Wong reportedly told FOX Sports Asia.

“Sundram knows the regional opponents well and he will groom the next generation of Laos youngsters to be ready for national team duty.”

 

Laos Vs Mongolia

Laos Vs Mongolia, October 16 18:30 in Vientiane, Laos coached by V. Sundramoorthy of Singapore.

Champion! Lao Paralympian Powerlifter Pia Takes Gold at Asian Para Games 2018

Powerlifter Pia Laophakdee

Laos’ Powersports powerlifter Pia captured a gold medal Sunday at the Asian Para Games 2018 in Indonesia in the 49kg Men’s Division after successfully lifting 133 kilograms.

copyright paralympic.org

Laos’ gold medal-winning powerlifter Pia (copyright paralympic.org)

Pia is now qualified to compete for glory at Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Pia received plenty of cheers from his team of competitors, coaches and administrators, with his victory covered by paralympic.org.

“Since I have my disability for a long time, I would like to promote how to overcome a disability, to be strong and healthy,” the powerlifter was quoted as saying.

“I plan to go to Dubai for my next event, this is the world championship. After that I will go ahead to the Paralympics in Tokyo 2020.”

The win comes after expert training for the powerlifter and his teammates in Beppu, Japan under the guidance of experienced competitor & coach, Japan’s Takashi Jo, followed by competition at the Kitakyushu 2018 World Para Powerlifting Asia-Oceania Open Championships.

The Lao Paralympic Athletes left Vientiane’s Wattay Airport bound for Indonesia last week.

Lao Paralympic Athletes

Lao Paralympic Athletes at Vientiane’s Wattay International Airport

Parasports development in Laos receives assistance from Tokyo-based, Laos’ active NGO Asian Development with the Disabled Persons (ADDP) with project funding support from the people and government of Japan via Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) via the Parasports Promotion Project.

The project involves providing training and expertise from Japan and beyond to benefit parasports athletes and coaches in Laos to compete in multiple sports, smoothing some of the bumps on the path to aid greater participation for all on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and beyond.Wheelchair basketball and goalball, an adapted sport for the vision impaired, also feature in the project.

The latter sport was the subject of a short film inspired by the life and sporting efforts of Lao goalball athlete Ms La Dalavong, whose young life was forever changed by an accident by war-era unexploded ordnance (UXO) before discovering a path forward through sport. A Lao New Wave Cinema production, the film visited the inspiring athlete in her home village and on the sporting court in Vientiane.

Other ADDP initiatives include the sign-language friendly and inclusive Minna-no-Cafe where customers and staff alike can communicate with the hard of hearing. The NGO also works with its employees to produce a range of popular cookies which are for sale at various outlets including the cafe and was also a participant in efforts that saw the creation of a Lao-Japan Friendship Sakura Park in Viengxay district, Huaphan province planted with Japanese cherry blossom trees.

ADDP’s efforts are also ably supported by Lao Fashion Week as seen in reporting by Laotian Times last month as the country and its capital celebrated the achievements of past and present participants and strengthening pathways, the dreams of the aspiring Paralympic competitors and fashion industry participants are nurtured alike.

Congratulations Pia! Good luck one and all at Asian Para Games 2018 and on the Road to Tokyo 2020!!

Road to Tokyo2020 Paralympics via Catwalk as Athletes Make Model Efforts

Lao Paralympic Athletes

Tears of joy, pain and expectation; the road to Tokyo2020 Games, like all Olympics and Paralympics before them, is being paved with them, and particularly in the South-East Asian nation of Laos.

The efforts of aspiring Paralympic athletes as they strive to achieve personal bests and to represent their nations at the highest level have always resulted in the shedding of the proverbial “blood, sweat and tears” at locations from one corner of the globe to another.

The fashion industry might seem many metaphorical miles away from the sporting arena in form and function, but the will to compete and the struggle to break down barriers continues apace, in this case in the South-East Asian nation of Laos.

That was the case as Lao Fashion Week teamed up once again with Laos-active Japan NGO Asian Development with the Disabled Persons (ADDP) to showcase Laos’ parasports athletes alongside employees of inclusive social enterprise as amateur fashion models on Laos’ fashion’s biggest professional stage, working to break down barriers to participation in across society.

Pumped to the powerful voice of emerging Lao teen singing sensation Alita Alounsavath to the strains of “never give up, no, no”, the crowd in the Lao capital rose to their feet to applaud the participants and the efforts of the participants and the NGO that supports their struggle to make dreams a reality against the odds.

Alita Alounsavath

Alita Sings up a storm at Lao Fashion Week for ADDP on Road to Tokyo 2020.

 

Adorned with creations by Japanese flower designer Norie, the models continued a long-running annual collaboration between LFW and ADDP to help make the show a reality. Among them was Pia, who represented Laos at the Rio 2016 Paralympics in powerlifting.

Indeed, the connection between sporting and socio-economic participation lies at the heart of the organisation’s mission. Initiatives of ADDP include the Parasports Promotion Project with support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which seeks to smooth the path to greater participation on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and beyond.

The project involves providing training and expertise from Japan and beyond to benefit parasports athletes and coaches in Laos to compete in multiple sports.

The program most recently saw Parasports Powerlifting training in Kyushu, Japan under experienced coach Takashi Jo before participating in Asia-pacific regional championships in the city of Kita-Kyushu.

Wheelchair basketball and goalball, an adapted sport for the vision impaired, also feature in the project.

The latter sport was the subject of a short film inspired by the life and sporting efforts of Lao goalball athlete Ms La Dalavong, whose young life was forever changed by an accident by war-era unexploded ordnance (UXO) before discovering a path forward through sport. A Lao New Wave Cinema production, the film visited the inspiring athlete in her home village and on the sporting court in Vientiane

Other ADDP initiatives include the sign-language friendly and inclusive Minna-no-Cafe where customers and staff alike can communicate with the hard of hearing.

The NGO also works with its employees to produce a range of popular cookies which are for sale at various outlets including the cafe.

ADDP was also a participant in efforts that saw the creation of a Lao-Japan Friendship Sakura Park in Viengxay district, Huaphan province planted with Japanese cherry blossom trees.

As in all nations, the participation of disabled persons in Laos comes up against various barriers of access, physical, social and institutional.

It is understood that greater participation for all people and profile of disability issues in Laos can be increased via ADDP initiatives and major events such as Lao Fashion Week. As in fashion, by celebrating the achievements of past and present participants and strengthening pathways, the dreams of the aspiring Paralympic competitors and fashion industry participants are nurtured alike.

For an industry often criticised as fickle and superficial, initiatives such as this prove the adage that fashion can have a big heart. I’m not crying… you’re crying! Somebody dry my eyes!

Images via Laos Briefly

     

Champs in Japan See Paralifters Pushed to New Limits

Japan has been back in the news this week with furious winds and thundering shakes claiming a tragic toll in lives and property.

At the same time, a power of a different and more positive kind has been felt in the nation’s south.

Lao Paralympic weightlifters have been in Japan’s Oita prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu to compete at the Kitakyushu 2018 World Para-Powerlifting Asia Oceania Open Championship, which will be held from September 8th.