New Delhi [India], December 5 (ANI): It was the yr 2010 when the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, modified the sporting ethos of the state by introducing a singular and first-of-its-kind marketing campaign named “Khel Mahakumbh” to nurture a tradition of sports activities within the state.
“Khel Mahakumb” was the idea behind introducing “Khelo India.” Nearly 13 years therefore, the imaginative and prescient of 1 state could be pivotal in enhancing India’s sports activities tradition on the grassroots stage by organized expertise identification, structured sporting competitions and infrastructure growth. At the upcoming Khelo India Para Games, Gujarat will subject a robust contingent of 95 para-athletes which may even embody Tokyo Paralympics icons Bhavina Patel, Sonal Patel and Parul Parmar. Top names like Amrut Panchal, Rachana Patel and Bhavna Chaudhary may even take part within the upcoming prestigious occasion.
In Para Sports, it will not be an exaggeration to say that Gujarat has been the pioneer.
Kanubhai was one of many preliminary members who launched the nation to para sports activities. “In 1984, when we used to say that physically challenged people can play sports too, people used to laugh. They thought that we were good for nothing and that God had punished us for bad deeds in our previous life,” says Kanubhai, remembering the preliminary days of para sports activities within the nation.
The baton within the state was efficiently carried on by Kantibhai Parmar, the present President of Para Association of Gujarat and slowly Gujarat began making its mark within the subject of para sports activities within the nation.
The state has change into the hub for para-table tennis. In the first-ever Khelo India Para Games practically 30 gamers from Gujarat are collaborating within the self-discipline.
Lallan Doshi, the coach and the mentor of most of those gamers, is the person behind the motion. “Bhavina (Patel) and Sonal (Patel) have been playing table tennis for quite some time but it is only after Bhavina’s silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Para Games, that other girls took it seriously. Today we have developed state-of-the-art facilities for the players and also focus on rehabilitation and physical health,” says Doshi explaining the exponential progress of para desk tennis within the state.
Bhavina Patel, the silver medalist on the Tokyo 2020 Para Games, is among the icon gamers of the nation right this moment. “When I won the medal, it was a clear message that sports persons from Gujarat can also achieve great things at big sports events. First ever Khelo India Para Games is such a great platform for players who don’t get enough national level platforms to showcase their talent. There is so much optimism about these games,” says Bhavina.
The rise of para sports activities within the state is clear from the truth that three able-bodied girls athletes had been a part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the identical variety of feminine athletes additionally certified for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
In the just lately concluded Asian Games at Hangzhou, China, no able-body athlete from Gujarat was capable of win a medal, however when it got here to Para-Asian Games held on the similar venue just a few days later, Gujarat received 7 medals.
Buoyed, by the event of para sports activities within the sports activities, Kantibhai Parmar, President of Para Sports Association of Gujarat, sees a brilliant future for the state. “We are very confident that our athletes shall shine at the first ever Khelo India Para Games and state shall rise as a para-sports power. Though our normal-body athletes have under-achieved till date, but our para-athletes are ready to bring Gujarat on the sports map of the country.”About 95 athletes have registered within the Khelo India Para Games which is able to begin from December 10, 2023. (ANI)