Ludhiana: If we want our teenage athletes to reach the Olympics and Paralympics, as in Australia and the USA, we have to prepare them early with the best infrastructure. This is what the Olympic discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur, the Paralympic archer Harvinder Singh and the athlete Nishad Kumar said.
The trio visited the city on Sunday to take part in a marathon organized by a hospital at Guru Nanak Stadium. During their visit, Kamalpreet, Harvinder and Nishad spoke to the TOI about the need to improve sports infrastructure in order to produce more Olympic medalists. They also suggested broadcasting all sporting events on a regular basis, as was the case with cricket, to keep youngsters interested.
Kamalpreet said, “Professional advice at a young age can play a vital role in shaping an athlete’s career. India’s performance at the Tokyo Olympics was commendable, but we shouldn’t be satisfied with that and put more effort into improving the medal record. “
The event took place at Guru Nanak Stadium, where the synthetic web was worn out. When the TOI Kamalpreet asked about it, it said: “Yes, I noticed the condition. Players may be injured. However, Ludhiana has at least one stadium and some facilities for the player that are lacking in the other locations. However, if we want more Olympic medals, the government and sports authorities have to pay attention to the facilities on the ground floor. ”
Para-archer Harvinder Singh from Haryana, who won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Paralympics, is the son of a farmer. He made his father’s field his training ground during the lockdown. Harvinder said, “Abroad, authorities have provided the best facilities for their para-athletes and other players. From the practice areas to the transport, everything is tailored to the needs of the specially skilled players. India lacks efforts in this area. But gradually things are getting better here. “
“In addition to sports facilities for para-athletes, we have to create awareness among them. People with disabilities lack guidance and motivation to do sports. You also need financial help to practice. When I talk about archery, the equipment is too expensive and not everyone can afford it. We met many sports officials and ministers and suggested that they make efforts in this direction. After India’s best performance at the Paralympics, I hope we’ll see more athletes and players next time, ”added Harvinder.
Para-athlete Nishad Kumar from Una in Himachal, who won a silver medal in the high jump, also said he had been doing sports since he was in school, but didn’t hear about the Paralympics until after the Olympic Games in Rio. Nishad said that due to the lack of sports facilities in Una, he went to Panchkula, where his trainer Naseem Ahmed saw his talent and trained him. Since Nishad came from a humble family, his trainer took care of his expenses.
Nishad said, “I’ve been doing sports since I was in school, but I wasn’t aware that there was a special category for disabled people. There must be a lot of talented youngsters who don’t know about Para-Games. I propose that all sporting events be televised, as is the case with cricket, so that young people can find the one to train in. “
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