The Vanuatu Paralympic Committee (VPC) have applied for a Paralympic wild card invitation to the International Paralympic for two of their athletes who are currently preparing for Paralympic qualifiers overseas towards the upcoming Paralympic Game in Tokyo Japan.
The VPC Program Manager in Vanuatu and Port Vila Athletics League (PVAL) Secretary General, Mrs Mary Estelle Mahuk made the confirmation to daily post this week at the Tennis club complex in Stade area.
With International border lockdowns, the VPC athletes are faced with the challenge of attending qualifiers overseas and VPC opted to gain entry through this application specifically for the duo.
Mrs Mahuk said that this means that even though both are not qualified in merit due to lockdown and no qualifier competitions in place, VPC is awaiting response from the International Paralympic Committee to approve their request, so they can participate in the games as well.
It comes as para-athletes are currently going through preparations towards the upcoming Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan later in August 2021.
“Currently we already have one of our para-athletes already qualified in merit for a spot this year which is Ken Kahu, and the other which VPC is working very hard with is Ellie Enoch, who is preparing for her qualifiers however COVID19 had stalled competitions. It is a Paralympic committee requirement for qualifiers must be through international competitions as well.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic creating difficulties in regional and international competitions due to borders lockdown overseas, all competitions are put on hold so it is quite hard to select a qualifier at the moment,” said Mrs Mahuk.
Despite the lockdowns, Mrs Mahuk stated that preparations and trainings are ongoing. She further stated that likely, VPC will be sending three athletes which are Ellie Enoch, Marcelline Moli and Ken Kahu.
“Currently with International and reginal boarders on lockdown, VPC has applied for an invitation in the Paralympic wild cat.
The trio are currently in training sessions five days a week with 2 days in gym sessions specifically for strength and conditioning and 3 days at Korman Stadium to keep all motivated towards the competition.
Lately VPC and the PVAL is organizing trial competitions to keep everyone including able bodies motivated and fit always prepared for upcoming competitions but foremost to monitor the level of their performances so adjustments can take place as well.
“This is the peak period towards the Tokyo Games and in athletics, missing a day of training is like missing training for a week. We want them to be fit always and maintain their level with their International and regional competitors also.”
Mrs Mahuk is appealing for all Sport Federations to work together always in partnership by supporting our para-athletes and all athletes towards all International and regional competitions abroad.