New Delhi, Dec 6 (IANS): As the countdown to the Khelo India Para Games reaches its final stages, Delhi State stands on the cusp of making history. The capital is not only prepared to host a world-class sporting event but is also eager to showcase its unwavering support for para-athletes.
As preparations are in full swing to host the inaugural Khelo India Para Games starting December 10, athletes and enthusiasts alike are buzzing with excitement, ready to showcase the city's commitment to promoting inclusiveness and excellence in sports for all.
Delhi has made significant strides in embracing para sports, dismantling barriers and challenging stereotypes that have long confined differently-abled athletes. The state's proactive measures in providing accessible facilities, specialized training programs, and unwavering support for para-athletes have laid the foundation for a flourishing para sports community.
"You always expect Delhi to be at fore-front of para games because there is more awareness about these sports in the country’s capital. If you just look around there is great infrastructure in every part of the city. There are coaches who have spent years training para sportspersons and know how to get the best of the athlete," says Dr Satyapal Singh, a Dronacharya Awardee.
Till now, Delhi has confirmed a contingent of 98 para-athletes and is confident to finish within the top 3 of the final medal tally.
Delhi takes pride in its para-athletes, who have overcome adversity with determination and resilience. Sharad Kumar, Raman Jee, Narayan Thakur, Simran Sharma etc are some of the many exceptional para-athletes that have excelled on the national stage but have also made a mark internationally.
Nidhi Mishra, a para athlete from Delhi, expresses her excitement ahead of the Games. "The Khelo India Para Games are a great platform for all para athletes. It's not just about competition; it's about celebrating our abilities and breaking down barriers. Delhi has been a pioneer in creating an inclusive sports environment, and hosting these Games is a testament to our commitment to para sports."
For Delhi’s para-athletes, the event holds a special significance. Performing on their home turf adds an extra layer of excitement as their family members and friends can witness their achievements first hand.
Narayan Thakur, winner of 2 bronze medals at recently held 4th Asian Para Games, emphasizes, "For us, Delhi para athletes, it will be an exhilarating experience to perform in front of our families and friends. Their presence adds an emotional touch to the competition, and we are eager to make them proud on our home ground."
The excitement for the Khelo India Para Games is not confined to the city's infrastructure but resonates deeply within the hearts of the para athletes themselves.
Yogita Bali, a budding para-athlete, shares, "The Khelo India Para Games are not just a competition; they represent a dream realized for many of us. To compete in front of our fellow Delhiites, friends, and family is an opportunity of a lifetime. The support we feel from our community is truly empowering, and we are ready to give our best performances."
Delhi's excitement for the Khelo India Para Games extends beyond the participants to their families and fans. The prospect of witnessing these extraordinary athletes perform on a grand stage has ignited a fervor among locals.
The city eagerly anticipates cheering for its own, knowing that the Games will be a source of inspiration for future generations.