Note that Workers’ Party has gone for first blood, they wrote on their FB page calling for national para-swimmers to receive the same prize as their able-bodied counterparts. Smart and shrewd move, hitting the iron when it is hot.
Without a doubt, it makes perfect sense to fight for better incentives for our paralympians. We are fully agreable with that. But life is not all black and white. All talk by Workers’ Party is cheap, release a statement, go rah and rah but have they thought things through?
I am not here not to belittle Pin Xiu and Theresa. Both of them, and all our paralympians, have put in tremendous amount of efforts and I’m very proud of them. Like what my aunt says about marriage, “You walk in with your eyes open”. I am sure none of our paralympians did it for the money. Even if they did, they knew how much the incentive is.
First, popularity. The popularity of Paralympics will never hit the same heights of regular sports. Pin Xiu’s victory does not match the hype of Joseph Schooling. How many of us actually watched the Paralympics or any sports involving disabled athletics? No one made any noise when the paralympics was not even televised.
Second, sponsorship. Same as popularity, will the sponsorship of a Paralympics be more than the Olympics?
If your answer to popularity and sponsorship is yes, then more money will be thrown in. Truth be told, majority of us will agree that there is a lack of interest. This is the hard truth. What can we do?
Our Government should continue to support and develop our paralympians beyond the competition. They should also tell us more about the existing programs and supports for our paralympians.
But at the end of the day, the WP is merely playing populist politics. What is despicable is that they are using the disabled to score political points.
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