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Paralympic players deserve equal recognition as Olympic sportsmen - My Take

June 21, 2016

I love sports and I wanted to find a way so that other people with disabilities could also take part in sports. This led to the idea of a Wheelchair Basketball tournament, where 360 players from 20 states will take part.

Since December 2014, wheelchair basketball is being played in India but there was no technical support staff to identify the players based on their functional ability and to classify them.

We have approached foreign coaches to train local technicians and players so that we can have local technical expertise.

The biggest challenge we have faced is accessibility in India. Every time we host a tournament we face accommodation problems, as even 5 star hotels have just one room that is accessible.

The wheelchair on which we play is costly too and needs to be imported. So the government should encourage manufacturers to produce such wheelchairs in India.

The government also needs to do more to promote paralympic sports. Paralympic players need to get the same recognition that Olympic players receive.

About the Writer

Madhavi Latha is the founder of the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India. The first technical training camp for wheelchair basketball begins in Hyderabad on 21 June in partnership with the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation and International Paralympics Committee's AGITOS Foundation. There will be an exhibition match between India and Thailand and a national level coaching camp from 22 to 26 June at KVBR Stadium, Yousufguda.

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