Sport, a tool of empowerment

HONG KONG, April 11, 2017 – Sport has been proved as a major tool that can have positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities or special needs, as it can do the same for people without disabilities.

Research has it that sport and any physical activity results in improved functional status and quality of life among people and also improves self-confidence, self-esteem and empowerment.

However, many people with disabilities face challenges to getting involved in sport due to several reasons.

It’s from this background that the Hong Kong Rugby Union teamed up with Laureus, a global sports based charity that works to improve the lives of young people, staging several community activities during the week of the Cathay Pacific HSBC Hong Kong sevens, but mostly getting close to people with disabilities under the theme, “tackling Barriers through sport”.

According to Sean Fitzpatrick, the chairman of Laureus world sports Academy, over 100million USD has been raised to support over 150 projects, in more than 40 countries since its inception in 2013.

“We use sport to tackle barriers among the youth globally and we are delighted to partner with Hong Kong sevens, a prestigious and international tournament. We hope to continue reaching out to the Youths”, Fitzpatrick emphasised.

Former Captain of the Great Britain wheelchair Rugby Team and a participant in three PARALYMPIC games in 2004, 2008, 2012, who is currently the brand ambassador strongly believes Disability is not inability.

“If you are disabled, you must accept and face the future, change your attitude and cut the barrier through sport or any other activity to avoid life frustrations”, he spoke out to the journalists.

Andy Barrow, an international speaker and mentor and a retired Great Britain wheelchair rugby player who suffered a spinal cord injury and left him disabled while he was playing for his local club at the age of 17 says he should be a living example to the rest of the disabled youths.

“I didn’t give up on sport, one year later, in 1998 after my accident, I started wheelchair rugby career, joining the London Wheelchair Rugby club and am still a better person with a beautiful family”, he said as his wife smiled on.

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