Formal instructions are required
Deepa Malik, President, Paralympic Committee of India (PCI), said, “Knowledge of science is an important addition to the sporting journey of para-athletes. For example, understanding the proper artificiality required by athletes is a science in itself. Also about doing. ”
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When PCI conducts national camps in search of new talent for major para sporting events worldwide, most come from rural backgrounds. “Sports education is essential, as in addition to training para-athletes in their chosen sport, it also teaches them money management, soft skills and much more. Gives confidence to deal with, ”Malik said.
The coach needs to be prepared
The raw talent in any game needs to be properly guided to turn a player’s effort into a medal, Malik added.
PCI head coach Satyapal Singh said that coaching of capable athletes is easier because all capable players have the same basic physique. “In the case of para-athletes, everything from the required prosthetics, the type of training, its intensity and the support they need varies from one athlete to another. So, coaches need to train accordingly,” he said.
Malik added that the current educational structure trains coaches to become experts in any one sport. “In order to truly empower para-athletes, the course curriculum offered by future coaches must have a section that helps them train para-athletes in the sport,” he said. This will increase the number of coaches trained at the ground level.
There are no formal guidelines to help coaches train para-athletes. “When we met the Prime Minister recently, he suggested that all the relevant information should be compiled to be the first official guideline guide for para-athletes coaches. Dronacharya Award-winning Singh added, “I am currently working on the same subject and hope to finish it as soon as possible.”
The owner says Apex Body (PCI) is only six years old and still has dental problems. “We need more funding schemes so that para-athletes have access to the tools needed to improve their talents and bring in more medals,” he said.
The way forward
District sports offices need to be empowered to find new talent and train them internally. “Accessible playgrounds for children and playgrounds for athletes need to be a mandate. Also, at the school level, sports and physical education (PE) teachers should be trained to train young people with physical disabilities, interested in sports.
Singh said there seems to be minimal awareness among upcoming sports universities about the need for formal guidance for para-athletes. “There should be more attraction from stakeholders, which is missing so far,” he says.
Karnam Malleshwari, the first female athlete to win an Olympic medal in weightlifting in 2000, has been nominated as the Vice-Chancellor of the upcoming NSU in Delhi. He said the medal at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020 proved that para-athletes were being trained properly. “Since there is no para-weightlifting event, I am currently training para-powerlifting para-athletes at my institute in Haryana,” he says.
“We have started discussing the university curriculum. This will include specific courses for training para-athletes. However, no concrete has been identified yet, ”added Maleshwari.
Our institute is still in a child stage, where we do not yet have a permanent campus. We started with just five regular programs. One of our goals is to integrate para-related sports and adventure sports into our regular curriculum. However, this will only be possible when we move to our permanent campus, said Laishram Shyam Kumar, registrar of the National Sports University (NSU) in Manipur.
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