Fri, Apr 12, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Training program for Aboriginal athletes expands

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Sports Administration program aimed at cultivating more Aboriginal athletes is being expanded, officials said yesterday.

A government program to develop the athletic potential of young Aborigines began in 2012, and as of this year, a total of 810 athletes have been selected for the training program.

Previous program participants have included Hank Yang (楊俊瀚) in track and field, Su Po-ya (蘇柏亞) in taekwondo, Lin Ming-ching (林明靜) in archery, and weightlifters Huong Wan-ting (洪萬庭) and Chiang Nien-hsin (江念欣), the Sports Administration said.

Aboriginal athletes have made outstanding achievements while competing for Taiwan, including decathlonists Yang Chuan-kwang (楊傳廣) and Ku Chin-shui (古金水), basketball players Rosa Chien (錢薇娟) and Cheng Chih-lung (鄭志龍) and Asian Game weightlifting gold medalist Kuo Hsing-chun (郭婞淳), it said.

While the program initially focused on track and field, taekwondo, judo, weightlifting and gymnastics when it began, in 2014, it expanded to include archers and boxers, it said.

In view of the nation’s outstanding performance in last year’s Asian Games in Jakarta in wrestling, karate and shooting, athletes in these categories would be included in the program this year, it said.

Athletes chosen for the program receive government support in several ways, it said.

All participants are given a general physical exam, and then their health and condition are monitored through X-rays, ultrasounds and electrocardiography in a bid to prevent injuries.

Athletes are also educated about the right training diet, which their coaches take into account when creating a training program for them, it said.

The program identifies and assesses the risk factors that could lead to injuries, and coaches then address the risk factors by improving athletes’ movements. It also provides psychological counseling and evaluations, the agency said.

Athletes receive subsidies to pay for extra nutritional elements and tutors to help with their schoolwork, so that they would not be distracted from their training, it added.

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