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Swimming coach bats for para sports in Palaro, college leagues

Wheelchair basketball in the varsity level? "Why not?" says a coach.

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--With the local para sports scene fledging quickly thanks to the success of Rio Paralympics bronze medalist Josephine Medina, a para sports coach believes it is now high time for the top collegiate leagues and the premier grassroots sports event to have their own para sports events.

Ral Rosario, a known swimming coach for both the abled and the differently abled expressed his desire that the NCAA, the UAAP, and Palarong Pambansa must have tournaments for the para sports athletes.

Rosario reiterated it as part of a "wish list" that he included at the end of his talk about the Paralympics during the Philippine Para Sports Summit at the Microtel Hotel inside the UP-Ayala Technohub complex on Friday.

Asked for an explanation regarding his wish, Rosario told Dugout Philippines, "A simple change of guidelines in Palaro saying that it would be a [part of the] medal count towards the overall championship. What will happen is the transformation by the local government to give more emphasis to para sports. The same with the NCAA and the UAAP. Let's say, they concentrate on one sport muna. Seeing them compete side by side with the abled athletes would change the world of para sports here in the Philippines."

Rosario also said that he is willing to sit down with the top officials of the three sports organizations to discuss the said matter.

"It will open their mind to the reality that there are people with disability that are in the universities they're running, and I think that's a big shift in terms of breaking barriers," he further said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno