India’s wheelchair basketball players show their creative side in national challenge
The national wheelchair basketball championship could not be held due to the coronavirus lockdown but India’s players are getting the opportunity to show another side at a nationwide virtual challenge.
If you thought her moves on the basketball court were impressive, wait until you see Jyoti Taraklar dance! A video of this 21-year-old Karnataka wheelchair basketball champ doing the lavani to popular hit song Pinga is going viral.
Jyoti has entered her dance video video for a nationwide virtual challenge organised by the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India (WBFI).
“I loved to dance as a child but after getting fitted with callipers in school, I stopped”, says Jyoti, who is currently in her hometown in Belur village, Karnataka. When the competition was announced, Jyoti decided to rekindle that interest and show it to the world. “I am delighted by the reactions. People in my village can’t stop talking about how well I dance!”
The WBFI organises a national championship every year. This year the event could not be held due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Since the inception of our Federation, we have been organising a National Championship every year. Beyond being an opportunity for the players to participate, compete and have fun, it is a chance for them to be appreciated. Owing to our determination to encourage players despite the Covid-19 situation, we conceptualised the Virtual National Challenge. – Madhavi Latha, Co-founder, Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India
Winners to be declared on 10 October
There are four categories in the virtual challenge- online quiz, sports skill, fitness and art. Barring the first, wheelchair basketball players have to upload one minute videos showcasing their skills and the decision will be announced on 10 October.
The one-minute limit can be quite challenging says Minakshi Jadhav, who has represented India in many international wheelchair basketball competitions.
“I sent a video showing different shooting actions on the basketball court”, says Minakshi who lives in Navi Mumbai. “It was hard to do so many shots in one minute. I had to plan how many seconds to spend on each shot and this needs skill and control”. Minakshi has been training regularly during the lockdown and that proved useful. “My regular practice sessions paid off”.
East Zone wheelchair basketball player Shailesh Kumar chose to share a video of his upper body fitness routine. “I sent a video of the exercises I follow for my biceps, triceps and chest.Upper body strength is vital to push the wheelchair and I wanted to show everyone that my arms are my strength”.
North East Zone player Mohammed Riyaz was an aspiring singer and that’s the side he has shown the world.“I could not learn music for lack of opportunity”, says Mohammed who lives in Manipur. “I sing in my spare time and I sand one of my favourite songs Badi Mushkil from the film Anjaam.”
You have watched them on court. Now you get to see another side to India’s wheelchair basketball champs. Visit the Facebook page here.
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