International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
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International Paralympic Committee (IPC)

RANDY BEN FROM VANUATU WINS GOLD IN 2023 OCEANIA CHAMPIONSHIPS IN SOLOMON ISLANDS

Randy (Rodney) Ben is a 35 year old multi discipline Para thlete and has just won a Gold Medal at the Oceania Para Championships in Honiara.

What does the term “multi discipline Para athlete” mean? It means Randy Ben is a true all-rounder. He not only plays wheelchair table tennis but also throws the javelin and shot put.

Randy Ben has twice represented Vanuatu at the Oceania Para Championships.

This is his third Pacific Games appearance. He started playing Table Tennis around 2024/2015. In 2015 he re[resented Vanuatu in the Pacific Games in PNG.

Randy Ben has represented Vanuatu in the Commonwealth Games GAPS camp – “Gather, Adjust Prepare, Sustain,” the pr- Commonwealth Games Camp held in Brimingham in 2022. Randy is a member of the Vanuatu Paralympic Committee’s Elite Parathletes squad training regularly at Korman Stadium three afternoons a week and with Table Tennis squad on Saturday’s

In addition, he is an advocate for disability rights, raising awareness off the issues faced by people in Vanuatu living with an impairment, and as a long term-member of Wan Smol Bag’s “Rainbow Theatre,” highlighting issues for Ni-Vanuatu living with  disability.

The Vanuatu Paralympic Committee receives no core funding but relies on generous sponsors for program support for promotion of Para table tennis. The Oceania Table Tennis Federation provided long term support through the now completed Smash Down Barriers Program funded by OTTF and managed in partnership with Vanuatu Paralympic Commitee. The ITTF support saw Randy identified trained and classified. Randy Ben’s own training has been supported by ICount who provide bus fares for VPC’s elite parathletes to ensure safe transport to and from training and Titan FX who supported an on-going program of para-table tennis training.

The VPC is sending a team of 10 Para athletes and 2 officials to the Pacific Games with the on-going support of The Carbine Club of Port Vila, 321 Lotto. The Oceania Paralympic Committee and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) has provided on-going support for classification and competition for athletics.

Margaret Macfarlane, President of the Vanuatu Paralympic Committee commented, “Randy is a real Change Champion, using his profile & success in sport to raise awareness in communities that a person with a disability can contribute to his family & village and nation. We are incredibly proud of his dedication to training across multi disciplines.”

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