HPCL Sponsoring Mumbai Paralympic Swimming Team For Nationals
At first thought, the idea of promoting swimming among the physically challenged sounds fearful, doesn’t it?
There are scores of differently-abled people who try enrolling themselves for swimming at a young age, but cannot find a swimming club or a coach who can take responsibility for their progress. I’m quite sure many of my fellow paralympian colleagues have faced similar issues in the past and a few still continue to face them.
Roughly 10% of India’s population is physically challenged in some form or another. In fact, one of the objectives of the Paralympic Swimming Association of Maharashtra is to create awareness among both the challenged people as well as policy-makers about the fabulous impact that swimming and water sports have on the differently-abled.
This could positively impact the paralympic sports and how they’re going to grow and where they’re going to go.
I think this field is really strong at the moment but can only grow stronger by creating more professionalism and more awareness all over the place.
More and more corporate entities like Mr. Bhirud of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limtited are becoming involved in this Paralympic movement; to help give it a national boost, we’re getting help from every walk of life. For instance, after our national camp got cancelled due to some technical issue, the Aquatic Recreation Club of Nairs promptly came to our rescue and allowed us to practice and use their state-of-the-art facility, twice in a day! The support staff – Mr. Anand Sarang and Mr. Kiran Pathak – have had a tremendous impact.
Post the London Paralympic Games, where Indian high jump athlete Mr. Girisha won our very first silver medal, a lot more people are interested in Paralympic sports. The future is looking very bright.
It won’t change overnight, but the rate at which it is changing is commendable.
I would like to end this article with one of my favorite quotes, by Australian Paralympic swimming champion Matt Cowdrey -
“The best part about winning a medal at Paralympic event is sharing it with the next generation of hopeful Paralympians”