Jakarta, Dec 31, 2017 (Antara) - The Indonesian Government has been very busy making preparations for the implementation of the 18th Asian Games on Aug 2-Sept 2, 2018, and the Third Asian Para Games on Oct 6-13, 2018.
The Asian Games will be held in Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra Province, and the Asian Para Games will be organized in Jakarta particularly centred in Bung Karno Sport Stadium at Senayan area.
The Asian Games will be participated in by some 9,500 athletes, 2,500 personnel of the Asian Olympic Council, and 5,500 technical delegates from 45 Asian countries. At least 3,500 media representatives are expected to cover the Games.
While, the Asian Para Games will be participated in by around 3,000 differently-abled athletes and 1,000 officials from 43 Asian countries.
Another difference is that the Asian Games is under the supervision of the Asian Olympic Council (AOC), while the Asian Para Games is under the Asian Paralympic Committee (APC), which is the only official representative of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in Asia, and the owner of the Para Games in the region.
The Government began preparations for the Asian Para Games 2018 in March 2017, following the appointment of Raja Sapta Oktohari as chairman of the Indonesian Asian Para Games 2018 Organizing Committee (INAPGOC).
The chairman of the Indonesian Asian Games 2018 Organizing Committee (INASGOC) is Erick Thohir, a businessman.
The Asian Games countdown kickoff was inaugurated by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) in Jakarta in August 2017, and the countdown of the Asian Para Games was commissioned by Vice President M Jusuf Kalla at the Jakarta International Expo, Kemayoran area, on Oct 6, 2017.
Imam Nahrawi, youth affairs and sport minister, said that Sapta Oktohari is the right person to head the INAPGOC because he has the experience as chief of the Indonesian contingent in the 2016 Olympic, and he is believed to be able upgrade the level of the Asian Para Games equally to the level of the Asian Games.
"We want to lift the dignity of the Asian Para Games to a level similar to the Asian Games. It should be focused on sportainment. A sportainment approach would motivate athletes to strive for the best achievements," the minister said.
For that purpose, the government has arranged coordination in the implementation of the two Games, issued a regulation on the Games and provided budget funds.
Raja Sapta Oktohari has discussed the coordination with Erick Thohir particularly for effectiveness and efficiency of the Games implementation.
Oktohari said the Asian Para Games and the Asian Games should be able to run together, and not separately.
Smooth coordination between the two Games has been achieved especially concerning facilities to be used and shared by athletes of both Games, including the accommodations for the athletes, equipment and volunteers.
"We have made a list of sport facilities from 13 sport numbers that could be used for the Asian Para Games, after the Asian Games is over," Ferry Julianto Kono, deputy secretary general of INAPGOC, said.
As for volunteers, Oktohari hoped that some 8,000 volunteers who will assist the implementation of the Asian Games, could continue to help the Asian Para Games 2018.
"We have made some offers to those volunteers supporting the Asian Games. We will allocate some budget for the volunteers. At least, we don't have to spend for recruitment process and training of volunteers," he said.
However, infrastructure for the Asian Para Games athletes who have special needs, will be different from that for the Asian Games athletes.
The differences are particularly regarding details in the sport arenas, accommodation and transportation means.
"We have received a lot of inputs from technical delegates attending the first meeting of technical delegates held in November and the second meeting in December about facilities in the sport arena that could be used," Oktohari noted.
Several modifications and adjustments are needed in sport arena and accommodation facilities for the Asian Para Games athletes.
The athletes, for instance, will need bigger lifts that could accommodate at least four wheelchairs at once.
Promotion activities of the two Games, however, could not be carried out jointly because they are under different affiliations.
Different affiliations mean different accountability to sponsors supporting the sport activities during the Asian largest multi-sport events.
The government has allocated Rp86 billion in the 2017 state budget for the promotion activities of the multi-sport event for people with disability, in several cities, in particular Jakarta as the host.
The implementation of the Asian Para Games will cost some Rp1.6 trillion, while so far the INAPGOC has received only Rp85 billion in 2017.
In 2018, the INAPGOC will still need Rp700 billion more, in addition to Rp826 billion allocated by the youth affairs and sport ministry.
The organizing committee will do its utmost to provide facilities meeting the standard and requirements for athletes with diasability, to demonstrate that Indonesia is a country friendly to persons with disability.
"Jakarta this time has a huge chance to prove its commitment to providing access for persons with disability, particularly access to sport facilities and their supporting means," Oktohari remarked.
(T.SYS/A/F. Assegaf/Bustanuddin) 31-12-2017
(T.SYS/A/F. Assegaf/Bustanuddin) 31-12-2017