The 20th National Para Athletics Championships is set to commence at the Kalinga Stadium and KIIT University in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The three-day event is slated to take place between March 28-31, 2022.
The championships will help indentify potential medal winners who will represent India at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and Asian Para Games scheduled to take place later this year.
The event will witness around 1200 athletes representing different states, including an increased number of female athletes. Of the total number of participants, at least 25 percent this time around are women.
Deepa Malik speaks about organizing 20th National Para Athletics Championships
2016 Rio Paralympics silver medalist Deepa Malik addressed the media ahead of the 20th National Para Athletics Championship 2022. The Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) President expressed her gratitude to the Odisha government for organizing the event.
Malik also expressed her desire to see para-athletics get mainstream recognition and not just be treated as a CSR-based event. The PCI chief evinced confidence in the athletes who will be in action, and hoped that they would rewrite the benchmarks of athletic excellence at the upcoming event.
"I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Government of Odisha, KIIT University and the Para Sports Association of Odisha for organizing the event. We want para-athletics to become mainstream and not just be a CSR- based event."
She further added:
"The holistic approach to promoting para-sports is also in sync with the vision of our Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi of a "New India" where we get equal opportunities. Also, thank you to Naveen Patnaik for creating a great sporting culture in the state which prompted us to organise the event in Bhubaneswar - the 'Sports Capital of India'."
Dr. Uttiya Bhattacharya, Executive Director (Corporate Communications), Indian Oil, also interacted with the media. Dr. Bhattacharya explained how his organisation has been supporting para-athletics in the country.
"Indian Oil is proud to be associated with the 20th edition of the National Para Athletics Championships as these games are in line with the Corporation's Corporate Core Values of Care and Passion. With more than 150 active players on its roll, Indian Oil continues to support more sportspersons."