By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 10 Feb: Aditya Mehta Foundation today concluded another hunt to create future champions. Twenty-six specially-abled athletes were shortlisted to represent India at the International Winter Para-Games event to be held in 2020. The 1st ever ‘Winter Para Games Training Camp’ was organised at Auli, starting 4 February, with support from Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board and Indo-Tibetan Border Police.
The shortlisted specially-abled athletes will be trained by the Foundation’s team of specialised trainers and coaches at their training facility in Hyderabad for the next one year. The foundation will provide special customised and stimulated equipment to suit the specially-abled athletes’ level of disability to help them perform at their best. They will be trained in various winter game disciplines like Alpine skiing, Biathlon, Snowboarding and Wheelchair curling. The specially-abled athletes participating in this event include 12 visually impaired youths aged between 15-18 years; amputees including above knee, below knee and both knee, CRPF and ITBP soldiers who were injured in the line of duty.
Speaking on the challenges of the training, Aditya Mehta, Founder of the Foundation, declared, “The training was not an easy task for most of the specially-abled athletes, as they came from all parts of India and were visiting a high altitude of 10,000 ft for the first time. Coping with with such high altitudes and cold weather conditions of up to -6 degree Celsius was extremely tough for them. Our enthusiastic visually impaired kids used sound cues like clapping to follow the path in the snow but they are far more independent and determined than the able-bodied.”