Sports fraternity hails first-ever parasport webinar, calls it path-breaking initiative - GulfToday

Sports fraternity hails first-ever parasport webinar, calls it path-breaking initiative


Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games gold medallist club thrower Ekta Bhyan was one of the attendee at the webinar.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, a 16-day Para Sports Online Development Programme (Technical and Sports Science) was held focusing on basic fundamentals, technical and scientific aspects of various disciplines of parasports.

Aimed at creating awareness about Parasports in the country, the webinar sessions were hosted and organised by the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) in collaboration with Sports Authority of India (SAI). PCI President and Paralympian Dr. Deepa Malik moderated the session, while prominent Para athletes, national coaches, physiotherapists, SAI and National Paralympic Committee (NPC) officials etc. participated in the programme.

Starting with Introduction and Basics of Parasports like Para Swimming, Para Athletics (Wheelchair and Visually Impaired athletes), Shooting Para Sport, Para Powerlifting, Para Badminton and Para Archery, the webinar also included topics like Sports Psychology, Nutrition, Physiotherapy (Classification and Rehab of Para Athletes / Wheelchair Skills and Spinal Cord Injury), Yoga, Lessons from Olympic and Sporting Legends etc.


“We are very happy to start an educational online programme like this, thanks to SAI who collaborated with us. And because of that, many National Institute of Sports (NIS) certified coaches joined us. There has been no educational programme so far about Parasport in the country. All our athletes are self-educated. And all these sessions were very informative covering various aspects of Parasport - technicalities, ruling, specifications, classifications etc.” said Malik, who praised the performances of Indian Para-athletes in international events en route winning medals and achieving Paralympic qualification.

“The sessions were not just a learning opportunity but it was a multi-targeted programme. We have so many abled-body coaches who are keen to coach the Para-athletes and now they know how to proceed; the recorded sessions are ready-reference dictionaries for everyone.

“Secondly, it was about reaching out to the Paralympians and hearing them out. Thirdly, it was the success stories of the Para athletes, how they rose above the difficulties. It was about giving hope, inspiration, foresight, ambition to the youngsters who joined us from across Asia,” added the 49-year-old PCI President, who won a silver in shot put F53 category in the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

Eminent ex-sportspersons including Pullela Gopichand and Gagan Narang too joined the Badminton and Shooting sessions and hailed PCI and SAI for holding such a programme which will be “beneficial” for the entire sporting fraternity.

Rajiv Thukral, assistant director SAI, served as the Invigilator of the sessions on behalf of the sports ministry.

300 attendees in each session

More than 300 participants took part in each of the sessions with suggestions and questions being put forward by attendees.

Emphasising that “athlete welfare” will be PCI's priority once the situation related to COVID-19 gets better, Malik said a quiz will also be conducted in the coming time by SAI. “Post the webinar sessions, we have already submitted 30 sets of questions to SAI and they will be releasing them through their social media handles soon for the participants.”

Sukan-KAdam-750x450 Para Badminton star Sukant Kadam who picked up “psychology” as the favourite topic among the webinar sessions.

Malik will now hold a joint meeting with Chairpersons of each federations and ask them to individually conduct educational programmes in the coming time.

“It's very encouraging to see more than 300 attendees in each of the sessions. This was a path-breaking initiative and the Sports education programme will go a long way with this endeavour. In future, we believe we will have a more structured and devise mechanism to take this to a larger population,” said SAI senior executive director S.S. Roy. 

'Informative and inspiring sessions'

Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games gold medallist club thrower Ekta Bhyan was very satisfied to have attended the sessions. “These 16 days of webinar were full of knowledge and information for Para Athletes of many disciplines. I personally learned a lot about other sports too. Every aspect of a para sports person's life is covered with exercise regime, psychological mentoring to nutrition. Many senior coaches and players shared their personal experiences that surely going to help every budding athlete,” she said.

“And I am happy to see the enthusiasm of young athletes. I am thankful to both Sai and PCI for this initiative and look forward to more such sessions, especially during this lockdown phase.”

Para Badminton star Sukant Kadam who picked up “psychology” as the favourite topic among the webinar sessions said: “It was a very good initiative that will help in the awareness about Para sports in the country. All the sessions were wonderful and informative; got to learn new things.

“I think this lockdown time is the right time to work on mental strengthening. After losing 10 semi-finals, I have started working on it and I am glad I could see the difference in results when I beat World no 1 in Peru in February.”

National Para Badminton coach Gaurav Khanna who led the Para Badminton discussion during the webinar said: “This a tough time for everyone and we all are strongly facing this Pandemic. We are optimistic that the worst will be over soon. Hence this type of webinar is a productive forum to work upon the theoretical aspects of Para Badminton and spreading awareness of the sport. 

“Besides this, I am in regular touch with elite Para Athletes through video call through zoom and other applications, who have been following my Training schedule and giving everyday reports.”

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