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NASAM Stroke Champions Versus Visitors

by Natasha Christopher

To share a better perspective of stroke and why sports is an important part of recovery the National
Stroke Association of Malaysia (NASAM) staged a challenge against guests during an event called the

During the challenge two stroke survivors played table games against guest players who could only use a non-dominant hand thus gaining a little insight into the struggles experienced by someone recovering from a stroke.

Held at its centre in PJ on August 6,2019, the Game Challenge was in tandem with the Stroke Games 2019, an exciting sporting event where games have been modified to suit the abilities of stroke survivors.

After a stroke, one often loses the use of an arm, a leg or both. What is it like to have limbs that are
no longer fully functional? At NASAM stroke survivors, young and old re-learn skills and undergo
continuous rehabilitation in the hope that the weakened limbs can become functional again. Some
achieve outstanding results while others, may have to live the rest of their lives with minimal use of
an arm or a leg.
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According to NASAM founder and chairman, Janet Yeo, sports and the basic human trait of wanting
to compete have profound effects on healing and recovery. “When we launched the Stroke Games
in 2017 we were amazed to see our stroke champions in action, they forgot their weakness and
showed tremendous inner strength as they competed against their fellow survivors.”

The event put Malaysia on the world map because it was a first for the stroke community. This year
representatives from various stroke organisations around the world and the World Stroke
Organisation (WSO)will be attending the event to be held at the Panasonic National Sports Complex
in Shah Alam.

NASAM is able to host the Games for its members thanks to corporate sponsors. One such sponsor
is HSBC which donated RM100,000 towards the event.
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About 300 stroke survivors from NASAM’s nine clubs throughout Malaysia will be participating in the
Games on October 19 & 20. There are more than 20 events including hurdles, distance throws, lawn
bowls, archery and seated volleyball.

Every year 50,000 people are crippled by a stroke in Malaysia. About 40% of them are below the age
of 60. Stroke is debilitating and is also very costly and, has a huge psychosocial impact on survivors,
families and the community. NASAM an NGO focuses on stroke-specific rehabilitation and on
education and awareness of stroke prevention.


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