Famous Guinness world record holder Robert M. Hense said it right when he stated that No disability or dictionary out there is capable of clearly defining who we are as a person. Dedication and determination was reflecting through the eyes of participants, and they were proving that physical disability cannot beat their devotion towards sports.
On 31st of August, 16th Bihar Para Swimming Championship was held at Chandragupta JalVihar, Moin-ul-Haq Stadium, Patna. The event was organized by Bihar Para sports Association and Bihar Disabled Sports Academy. Around 40 athletes participated in this championship under various categories.The winners of this sport will represent Bihar in upcoming National championships which will be held from 16th to 30th November, at Bhopal.
The event aimed to spread awareness regarding Para sports and its opportunities. Shams Aalam Sheikh, the first Para-swimmer from Bihar to represent India at the Para-Asian Games said, “Disability doesn’t mean you have to sit idle at your homes, we have organised this event to encourage disable swimmers to come out of their house and show their abilities and talent. Such championships will lead the government to take concern towards such sports .”
He won four gold medals in National Championship, 2014,and was also awarded the best Para swimmer in his category. Apart from this, Mr. Shams holds the Limca Book of World Record for longest open sea swimming by a paraplegic. It is interesting to know that he swam 8kms in 4 hours and 4 minutes in the open seas of Goa. “We want the government to add disabled athletes in Khelo India Scheme, and we are working for that. Social media is important platform to talk about such initiatives and awareness, we would like to thank PatnaBeats team for proving exposure to our efforts and devotion.”, said Mr. Shams.
The championship was inaugurated by Chief Guest social worker Dr. Avinash Kumar, Secretary of Bihar Civil Society Forum, Shrimati Madhu Shrivastava, and Director of ‘Aastha’ Dr. Umashankar Singh.
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Sandip Kumar, sports instructor of Paralympic Committee of Bihar, Lakshmikant Kumar, Sugandh Narayan Prashad, Santosh Kumar Sinha, Shashank Kumar, Sikha Kumari were present in event and were encouraging the participants.
We have witnessed the inequality between able and disabled athletes, the opportunities they get and the financial support. The event highlighted their skills and enthusiasm towards swimming ;this will definitely blur the line of such inequalities.We are looking forward to see more such events in Bihar, where disabled atheletes would get a platform to showcase their talent.
A disability can be anything that one is insecure about, and it is important to know that when challenges comes in our way, we need to face them and embrace these new norms/challenges and we need to defy them and conquer them.