From Impairedness to Greatness
By THA SC
Bangkok, Thailand, 3 September 2021 --In the Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020, from 24 August to 5 September 2021, the army of 77 physically-challenged sportsmen from Thailand joined this special event. They participated in various events, like, archery, wheel-chair fencing, weight-lifting, swimming, table tennis, athletics, bicycling, shooting, wheel-chair tennis, boccia, football [5/side], judo, badminton and taekwondo.
This is the first time in Thai Sports history that a team of visually-impaired participated in the Paralympic football competition. Among these, there are 4 salesian past pupil from the Skills Development Center for the Blind, Pakkret, Nonthaburi Province, were Thai blind football players, namely:
1.Mr. KUPAN Panyawut (Forward )
2.Mr.WIMOLWAN Kittithat (Defender)
3.Mr.BAODEE Kittikorn (Forward)
4.Mr.YINGCHUROS Suriya (Midfielder)
The rule for the "Visually-Impaired Football - 5/side" was that there are 4 players in the outfield, all visually-impaired, except for the 'goalie' who is sighted. The ball used in the competition has a bell inside which makes the sound as it rolls down the field. Aside from this, there is the trainer who may tell the position of the ball.
For this event at the Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020, the participating teams were divided into 2 groups. The first two teams will qualify for the semi-final level. Thailand was in Team B, with Spain, Morocco and Argentina. For Team A, there were the teams from Japan, France, Brazil and China.
The Thai Team got the 7th place, having won against France with a score of 3-2. Even though Thailand did not get the gold, yet they were able to win the hearts of the participants because of their sportmanship and good relationships.
The Skills Development Center for the Blind in Pakkret and the Salesians would like to extend their congratulations to these visually-impaired Salesian past pupils who participated in the Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020.
The Skills Development Center for the Blind has been run by the Salesians since 1978, promoting dignified and sustainable, holistic development including sports, music, etc. At present, it is under the direction of Brother Suwan Jutasompakorn, SDB.