Victim of Polio but Nengah is now ranked 3rd in the world for weight division in Paralympic Powerlifting

Dear Rotarians and friends of Rotary,

I would like to share with you the story of Ni Nengah Widiasih, a very special 21 years old we have had the pleasure of meeting at Rotary Club of Bali Canggu. She needs our help.

Nengah was born and raised in Karangasem, Bali. At the age of 4, she contracted polio and lost the use of her legs, spending the next few years confined to her bed. When she was in the sixth grade she began living at the dormitory run by the Disabled Children’s Counselling Foundation (Yayasan Pembinaan Anak Cacat)


At the suggestion of her brother, fellow weightlifter I Gede Suantaka, Nengah took up weightlifting and began practising four to five times weekly. She has medaled at national level competitions in Surakarta and Bali, competing in the 40 kilogram class. Nengah competed at the 2011 ASEAN ParaGames, lifting a huge 87 kg to take home the gold medal. Nengah was one of three Indonesian athletes that competed at the 2012 Olympic/Paralympic games in London, and achieved a world ranking of 5. For the Paralympics she was funded by the Indonesian Ministry. In January 2014 she also competed at the ASEAN para games in Myanmar, again taking the gold medal.

It is Nengah’s lifelong dream to win a medal at the Paralympic Games in Brazil 2016. She has trained harder than ever this year and is now lifting 100 kg, whilst still competing in the 40 kg bodyweight class.

In order for Nengah to qualify for Brazil 2016, she needs to compete in the World Championship Powerlifting competition in Dubai, April 2014, or she will lose all the points she has accrued by going to the London Paralympics, and it will be impossible for her to qualify for Brazil 2016. While the Indonesian Ministry was able to fund her participation in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, they will not fund her for the 2014 World Championships in Dubai, as it is classified as a private competition – even though she will be unable to compete in Brazil 2016 if she doesn’t go. She was told she has to find private sponsorship.

Nengah’s life so far is an inspirational story of overcoming all the odds to follow your dream. With Rotary International playing such a leading role in the global fight to eradicate polio, this is the perfect individual for Rotary Clubs of Bali to unite behind. Let’s help her get to Brazil 2016 and make all of Bali proud!

The cost of sponsoring Nengah at the World Championships in Dubai (5th-11th April 2014, with opening and closing ceremonies and presentation awards afterwards) is approximately IDR 40,000,000. This is the key event for Nengah although towards the end of the year/early next year there is another event in Korea which would be the following target to get her ready for Brazil.

We aim to raise the funds to support Nengah through both private donations and a Rotary fundraiser. All contributions hugely appreciated.

Yours in Rotary
Matt Homfray

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