IWAS sends message of support to Nakhon Ratchasima


International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) President, Rudi Van Den Abbeele, has sent a message of support to the community in Nakhon Ratchasima following this weekend’s tragic events.

On Saturday a lone gunman opened fire at a military base in Nakhon Ratchasima before moving on to the city centre. He was later shot by security services inside a shopping mall. So far 29 people have died with many more injured.

The Thai city will host the 2020 IWAS World Games from 2-9 April, after it was postponed from late February due to concerns from countries around the Coronavirus.

Van Den Abbeele said: “On behalf of the IWAS Executive Board, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the people of Nakhon Ratchasima and Thailand.

“We have been working closely with the Sports Association for the Disabled Thailand, the city and local government on the IWAS World Games for more than a year now. It breaks my heart to think they and their community are experiencing such a great tragedy.

“Our message at this difficult time is that IWAS will not let fear win. Sport has the power to change lives. Para sport in particular shows the power of the human spirit in overcoming challenges and obstacles.

“I am confident that the organisers will continue to work relentlessly to stage a fantastic IWAS World Games. They will give the athletes the best platform possible to reach their best and we are behind them all the way.”

The 2020 IWAS World Games are set to feature 10 sports in venues across Nakhon Ratchasima. All are recognised by the relevant International Federation and some contribute towards qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

The IWAS World Games are well known for being a proving ground for future Paralympians. In the past many athletes have made their international debut before going on win medals at the Paralympics.

This year’s edition was postponed on Friday (7 February) in consultation with the Local Organising Committee and participating countries, the majority of whom requested the delay due to the Coronavirus.