Wheelchair marathoners roll from Pattaya to Issan

Friday, 18 May 2012 From Issue Vol. XX No. 20 By  Vittaya Yoondorn

A half dozen cross-country wheelchair racers are traveling 1,479 kilometers from Pattaya to Isaan to raise awareness and money for the disabled.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome and Pattaya MP Poramet Ngampichet kicked off the “Powering the Disabled” caravan that will see six students from the Redemptorist School for the Disabled roll through 19 provinces over 49 days to reach Nong Khai in northeast Thailand. Two bicyclists are accompanying them.

Local officials, including Capt. Pisan Wattanawongsiri (back row, 4th left), honorary consultant of Redemptorist  Center for People with Disabilities, launch the ceremony. Local officials, including Capt. Pisan Wattanawongsiri (back row, 4th left), honorary consultant of Redemptorist  Center for People with Disabilities, launch the ceremony.

The cross-country marathon kicked off with a festive party May 7 featuring dance performances, skills demonstrations by Redemptorist School students and cultural shows by children.

The caravan is meant to raise awareness about disabled issues in the country and raise money for the Nong Khai Redemptorist School. The marathoners will participate in 29 activities and events along their route, including disabled festivals in 16 communities staged at various city halls.

Wheelchair marathon riders are anxious to get underway at the release of the caravan towards Nong Khai. Wheelchair marathon riders are anxious to get underway at the release of the caravan towards Nong Khai.

Publicity is key for the wheelchair racers, with plans to chronicle their journey on television and Internet via photos and video.

The event will culminate in June in Nong Khai, the site of this year’s national wheelchair marathon.

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