The Challenge of the Beautiful islands, Maldives




そんなモルディブでモルディブバドミントン協会が初の試みを行なった。それは、Addu cityというモルディブ第二の都市でパラバドミントンの紹介としてバドミントンフェスティバルで開催するということだ。これまで、障がいを持った人々は外に出ることもなく家で育ってきた。物理的な障害ももちろんあるのだが、一番は障がいを持っている人の対応経験が少ないということである。障がいを持つ人々が社会で活躍するという場がとても少ない。

また、首都でMaldives Association of Physically Disabled(モルディブ障がい者協会)から、NPC設立に向けたこれまでの動きや今後の課題、そしてモルディブでの障がい者を含めた活動などの説明があった。そこには、ユーススポーツ庁、スポーツ協会など様々な団体が参加していた。その場で私たちの事業の紹介をさせていただき、多くの人が興味を持って聞いてくれた。視覚障がいのある選手が「今後協力して2020年に向けて記録が伸ばせるように頑張る」と話してくれ、手応えを感じた。 ただ、率直な要望として、「私たちは障がいを持った人にスポーツを教えるという経験やスキルがない。だから、そのようなスキルをどうにかして習得したい。」という意見があった。


December 15 - 24, 2017

Maldives is a nation which is composed by almost 100% Muslims. There are 400,000 people in population, and the 1/3 lives in the capital, Male. As the nation was used to be colonized by UK, its education system was transferred from UK. I don't know that y though, people in Maldives speak English very fluently.

The reason why we came to the country is to observe "para badminton introduction" run by Asia Badminton Association and its coordinator, Maldives Badminton Association. It was the first time for them to have the opportunity which is focusing on people with impairment. About 40 participants were quite surprised what they had watched on video playing para badminton players but got interested in it at the same time. Some of them said the facilities and equipment prevent those people to come to play as well as lack of our knowledge on how to deal/teach those to play sports. Overall, Badminton Association in Maldives did a wonderful event to let people be aware the idea of social inclusion. We ensure that badminton in Maldives will firmly develop for the coming years.

At Male, we also had a good chance to meet up with important group of people. MAPD (Maldives Association of Physically Disabled) takes an initiative for approaching to people with disability. Also, they have already started including those people to take part in sports events as well as applying NPC to APC (Asia Paralympic Committee). At the meeting, there are many stakeholders and even a freelance journalist with his camera. The chairman presented how far it has been progressed in set-up NPC, and their activities toward those amputated. We also explain about our project and found Maldives could be the one which we support for 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. However, when they told us "We don't know how to train para athletes, so we want to know how", we realized that approaching the countries which have never participated in the games should build a structure from beginning. Coaching skills, understanding physical disabilities and sports, maintaining ideal environment and so on... What we should do for now is to think how we can provide these things above.