Hong Kong 2003
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Paralymic Sports Associations

The Hong Kong Sports Association for the Physically Disabled (SAP) was founded in 1972 to promote and organise sports training and competition for physically disabled people. It aims at developing their full potential through taking part in sport, as well as promoting a community of equal opportunity and full participation for physically disabled persons.

Being one of the pioneers in advocating promotion and development of disabled sports in the Far East and South Pacific (FESPIC) Region, the SAP hosted the Inaugural FESPIC Youth Games in Hong Kong from December 21 to 28. A total of 480 athletes and officials from 15 nations/territories in the FESPIC Region took part. Hong Kong won a total of 114 medals (29 gold, 46 silver and 39 bronze) and ranked fourth overall in the medal tally.

Playing the role of the National Paralympic Committee of Hong Kong, the SAP is the only sports entity recognised by the International Paralympic Committee in the selection of disabled elite athletes for major international competitions such as the Paralympics and the World Championships. With the commitment and hard work of its athletes and coaches, the SAP again achieved impressive results internationally during the year. Athletes won a total of 215 medals (69 gold, 74 silver and 72 bronze) in international competitions.

The Hong Kong Sports Association for the Mentally Handicapped (SAM) was founded in 1978. It aims to develop, promote and organise sports activities for persons with intellectual disability in order to fully develop their potential in sports abilities, to cultivate positive attitudes in sportsmanship and to facilitate their integration into the community. The association provides sports training and competitions for more than 25 000 persons, and through the years has been steadily developing a training programme from the grass roots to an elite level.

Athletes took part in numerous international competitions during the year and made the most of these opportunities to polish their skills. Altogether, they won 79 gold, 56 silver and 47 bronze medals in the competitions, including the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Dublin during the SARS period and the world swimming championships hosted by the association in Hong Kong. Among the other competitions in which athletes competed successfully were the athletics world championships in Tunisia, rowing world championships in Italy, open swimming championships in Australia, tenpin bowling competition in Malaysia, world table tennis championships in Mexico, Special Olympics national winter games in Japan, and athletics world indoor championships in Hungary.

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