The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Asian Para Games Organizing Committee (INAPGOC) has expressed strong confidence that the upcoming third Asian Para Games, which will be held from Oct. 6 to 13, will run smoothly as it has completed almost 100 percent of the required preparations.
INAPGOC chief Raja Sapta “Okto” Oktohari said a series of events related to the Games had been conducted since early September, right after the closing ceremony of the 2018 Asian Games, including the torch relay, which started in Surakarta on Sept. 5.
On the concept of the opening ceremony, Okto, who also chairs the Indonesian Cycling Federation (ISSI), said the opening ceremony of the Para Games would contain and promote values of humanity and solidarity.
“We’re not at a place where we can compete with [the extravagance of] the Asian Games opening ceremony. But we [have to] excel more than the previous event,” he said.
Bringing out the theme “The Spirit of Diversity”, the opening ceremony will involve 1,000 performers, including 40 performers with disabilities. Big names such as director Jay Subiakto and music composer Andi Rianto will support the festivities of the opening ceremony.
The organizer intends to sell 20,000 out of 40,000 seats available inside the Gelora Bung Karno sport stadium in Senayan, Central Jakarta, for the opening ceremony. Two thousand free tickets for people with impairments will also be made available thanks to the Social Affairs Ministry.
Commenting on this, Social Affairs Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita said the ministry was helping the organizer by conducting training for volunteers involved in the Para Games and providing vehicles for people with disabilities.
“This is our job, to give the volunteers training to interact directly with disabled people with their own uniqueness. To only have empathy without understanding is not right,” Agus told The Jakarta Post.
Youth and Sports Ministry spokesperson Gatot S. Dewabroto was confident that all problems regarding the athletes’ preparation, including availability of equipment, had been resolved as of Wednesday.
To accommodate people in wheelchairs, INAPGOC has upgraded the current facilities inside the stadium by increasing the number of wheelchair-friendly seats from 77 to 500.
INAPGOC has appointed ticketing management system Loket to handle ticket sales. Tickets for the opening ceremony went on sale starting Thursday evening through loket.com.
The prices for the opening ceremony’s tickets vary from Rp 500,000 (US$33.70) to Rp 2.5 million. Tickets for the events vary from Rp 25,000 for a single event to Rp 200,000 for six days of Para Games events.
For accessibility inside the venues, the organizer is in the process of completing several additional facilities, such as wheelchair ramps, spectator seating and bathrooms for people with impairments.
INAPGOC venue director Budiono said his party targeted to finish all the installations by the end of this month, and expected to have them ready for use at least two days before the opening ceremony.
“For some venues, we will build a temporary elevator — for example in Ecovention in Ancol, which will be the venue for table tennis — if they are not suitable for ramps,” he said.
— Gemma Holliani Cahya contributed to this story.