Indian Army to introduce rowing for paraplegic soldiers

For the first time, the Indian army will introduce rowing for paraplegic soldiers at the Army Rowing Node on the College of Military Engineering campus in Pune.

The decision was taken at the recent National Rowing Championship at CME after discussions with the Rowing Federation of India (RFI). The RFI will give assistance for rowers to train. A proposal will also be sent to the Sports Authority of India seeking financial assistance and proper equipment for the rowers.

Para-rowing is promoted in many countries abroad and with proper facility, India too can deliver excellent performances. Since para-rowing requires a female partner, it was difficult for army authorities to find suitable candidates in the past.

Now, a woman from Kashmir, who is interested in rowing, is ready to be partnered with a para soldier, and they will be trained and assisted by fellow rowers with international experience.

The army has a dedicated para node at the Bombay Engineering Group, where they train para soldiers in various forms of sports. Para-rowing is a discipline that is open to both men and women with disabilities. It was earlier called adaptive rowing and was first included at the 2002 World Rowing Championships.

In 2005, para-rowing was featured at the paralympic Games for the first time in 2008. At the 2012 Paralympics in London, 23 countries competed in four boat classes for 12 para-rowing medals.

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