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ASEAN Para Games 2015 Blog
Philip Yuen, Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte Singapore shares his thoughts and feelings about embarking on the 8th ASEAN Para Games journey.
11 November 2015
Philip Yuen, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte Singapore
In about a month’s time, Singapore will welcome another large contingent of athletes from around the region, this time for the 8th ASEAN Para Games. This is the first time that the ASEAN Para Games has been held in Singapore, and with its message of community and friendship, it will be a fitting conclusion to Singapore’s year-long SG50 festivities.
Deloitte was appointed the Official Professional Services Partner of the Games on 7 July 2015, shortly after the close of the 28th SEA Games in June 2015. In contrast to the SEA Games, the ASEAN Para Games is less about elite performance: it is about encouraging inclusiveness by building awareness of disability and, in particular, disability sports, while encouraging a sense of community.
Through our support for the ASEAN Para Games, we have been able to be part of this meaningful cause, and help create an environment whereby people with disabilities are empowered to reach their potential and be integral members of society. It is a partnership that has a deeper significance for our people and our community and gives us a chance to live our Purpose – to make an impact that matters.
A few months ago, I had the honour of attending a friendly table tennis tournament between our Team Singapore para athletes and their counterparts from other parts of the world. I watched in wonder at the resilience of these athletes – the ability to take their disability in their stride and turn it into something amazing. I remember vividly how a top ranking para-paddler from Egypt, who lost both his arms at the age of 10, competed by holding the table tennis bat in his month and using his foot to hold the ball to serve. His speed and agility were no different from an able-bodied player as he smashed his return with his signature ball spin.
Another inspiring example is Team Singapore’s very own Jason Chee. He was seriously injured and lost his legs and one arm in a work accident in 2012, but his passion for life kept him going. He is now back at work with the Singapore Navy, and has taken up table tennis competitively and is training hard to represent Singapore in December at the ASEAN Para Games.
These examples are just two of the many athletes whose strength in character and determination allow them to push the boundaries. I truly admire their unwavering spirit and these are qualities that Deloitte is proud to be associated with. I hope that we can all learn from them and do our part to deliver their dreams and help them succeed in life and in their sport.
Similar to the SEA Games, the Deloitte ASEAN Para Games engagement team will be hard at work to deliver the Games, and our Deloitte volunteers will be playing the important role of liaison to the invited dignitaries, ensuring that the regional government officials and VIPs are well taken care of throughout the Games.
There is a series of other events that are coming up for the rest of the year where we all can take part, including the “One Team Singapore Rally” on 14 November that involves a world record attempt of the largest human heart assembly and a mass walk organised by the Singapore Disability Sports Council, Deloitte’s CSR partner. I will be there as a personal supporter and I encourage all of you to join me.
Of course, we must cheer loud and proud for our colleagues at the Games. Representing Singapore are badminton player Teddy Wong, who is part our Resource Management team, and swimmer Yip Pin Xiu, who interned with us in 2014. Pin Xiu is a world record holder and remains Singapore’s only ever Olympic or Paralympic gold medallist. I am sure that with our support behind them, they will be able to go for gold and do their very best for the nation.
Our partnership with the ASEAN Para Games is just the first step and we hope to continue to contribute towards helping youths with disabilities, empowering them so that they can realise their dreams. Let us all walk this journey together as we Deliver the Dream and make an impact that matters.