Driving Movement Leadership: 2012 Asia Pacific Leadership Conference

Athlete Voices

Clockwise from top left: Athletes Rizka Feryani (Special Olympics Indonesia), Ben Haack, (Australia), Adil Visram (Pakistan), Anton Silos (Philippines), Hanako Sawayama (Asia Pacific),  Neha Naik (Bharat).

In a fitting demonstration of the conference theme, a group of six enthusiastic and well-organized athletes founded the Asia Pacific Input Council for the Athlete Leadership Program (ALP) during the 2012 Asia Pacific Leadership Conference and Regional Meeting, 26-29 April.

This group went on to lead a panel discussion, in front of 50 National Program leaders and 13 staff from around the Asia Pacific Region, on the importance of athlete opinions at all levels of National Program planning, implementation and outreach.

An annual conference, this year’s sessions centered on sharing best practices and charting future directions to expand the movement and benefit Asia Pacific athletes. Sideline meetings included the Regional Football Advisory Committee discussions around advancing football competitions in the region and the Asia Pacific Leadership Council meeting and elections.

Primed for 2013 APAC Games

Click on the image above to launch the video introduction for the Special Olympics Asia Pacific 2013 Games.

Special Olympics Australia General Manager for Partnerships, Marketing, Communications and Relations, Alex McNeilly, promoted the inaugural Asia Pacific Games slated for December 2013 with a host city presentation and video screening featuring messages from Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and New South Wales Premier, Barry O’Farrell.

A Perfect Ten Evening

International Global Messenger and bowling champion Anton Silos.  

In between dialogues on strategic priorities, the delegates made time for fun at Unified Bowling, co-hosted by Special Olympics Asia Pacific and Special Olympics Singapore. Delegates teamed up with Special Olympics Singapore athletes at the Raffles Town Club for a rousing evening at the lanes. United States Ambassador to Singapore David Adelman welcomed the delegates and kicked-off the event by introducing a demonstration by International Global Messenger and bowling champion Anton Silos, who averages 200+ per game.

Future Directions

In a poignant and energetic closing to the conference, Special Olympics Singapore hosted a Young Athletes demonstration event showing the capabilities of this early intervention program for children aged 2-8 with intellectual disabilities.

In all aspects, the Leadership conference gave the delegates an opportunity to connect, inspire and share ideas on propelling the Movement forward. As one delegate summed up aptly: “Onwards and upwards in Asia Pacific!”