Khelo India Para Games will be great platform to earn recognition: Para High-Jumper Nishad Kumar
New Delhi, India: Indian Paralympian and high jumper Nishad Kumar hailed the efforts of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to host the first-ever Khelo India Para Games.
He said that the inaugural edition of the Khelo India Para Games under the able leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a stepping stone for athletes at the grassroot level to show the world what they are capable of and will also benefit the players immensely, the official press note said.
Nishad, who made his maiden Paralympic Games appearance in 2020 Tokyo representing India, won a Silver medal in the Men's high jump T47 category. In doing so, he also created a new Asian record of 2.06m. In the 2022 Asian Para Games, he clinched the Gold medal in the Men's high jump T47 at Hangzhou, China.
"When I met Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the 2022 Asian Para Games, he said that they have a Special Olympics Scheme for the specially-abled and will provide world-class facilities to the athletes participating. It is great to see that all the players have access to the facilities. Besides this, it is also great to see our Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Anurag Thakur taking an active part in this and motivating the athletes to perform," it added.
"At the same time, I also believe that Khelo India Para Games will help in getting that confidence in the athletes so that they can perform anywhere in the world. Through Khelo India Para Games, the players will have an opportunity to showcase their abilities and find recognition. The Games will also be a platform for scouting budding athletes who can go on to represent India at the global level," Nishad added.
Nishad hails from Baduan village of Amb sub-division in Una District, Himachal Pradesh. His father is a farmer and his mother has been a state-level volleyball player and a discus thrower. It comes no surprise that his mother has been his inspiration.
The high jumper also talked about the sports ecosystem in Himachal Pradesh. He said, "Comparing to other states, the sports ecosystem is slowly and gradually growing. I also met Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu. He said that in March 2024, they will be coming out with new sports policy. I am sure that in coming years, there will be a lot more athletes from Himachal Pradesh bringing laurels and accolades for the country," the press release said.
"I would also like to say that one should believe in himself/herself. Don't think about the adverse circumstances that surround you. Focus on your training and always give your 100 per cent to get the result you want," he signed off.
Since 2018, a total of 11 Khelo India Games have been successfully held. This includes 5 Khelo India Youth Games, 3 Khelo India University Games and 3 Khelo India Winter Games.
The first-ever Khelo India Para Games is scheduled to be held from 10th December to 17th December 2023.
Over 1,400 participants from across 32 states and union territories including the Services Sports Control Board are expected to participate in the maiden Khelo India Para Games which will witness para athletes vie for honours in 7 disciplines including para athletics, para shooting, para archery, para football, para-badminton, para table tennis and para weight lifting. The events will be held across 3 SAI stadiums - the IG Stadium, the Shooting Range in Tughlaqabad and the JLN Stadium.