The Philippine Accessible Disability Services (PADS) Adaptive Dragon Boat Racing Team won a total of four Gold Medals in the 13th International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) Club Crew World Dragon Boat Racing Championships held in Sarasota, Florida, USA. The team won the Gold on the following categories: 2000 meters PD2 category; 500m PD2 category; 200m PD1 category; and 200m PD2 category.
PADS is an organization that aims to enable persons with disabilities (PWDs) to grow and develop as independent, integrated, and empowered citizens in society. “Dragon boat racing allows equal opportunity for all athletes, with or without disabilities. When we are all seated, no one can tell which paddler has a disability or not because we all look at the same cues, feel the same drum beat and row with the same strength,” said Team Manager and PADS Executive Director John Paul Maunes.
SM Cares supported the team during their Manila preparations last July 4-8, 2022 by treating the athletes with accommodations at Heritage Hotel Manila and a “Fun Day at the Mall” tour at SM Mall of Asia, SM Southmall and S’Maison. In partnership with MOA Food Hall, SM Cinema, SM by the BAY Storyland, and SM Southmall Game Park, the team enjoyed full board meals and a number of activities like movie screenings, theme park rides, indoor sports and tours.