Landmark 25% Women are participating in the 20th National Para Athletics Championships 2022
The Bridge team was on-site to report on the Para Athletics press conference that delved into multiple insights of what to expect from the sporting extravaganza
The National Para Athletics Championship 2022 media briefing took place today in the presence of Ms. Deepa Malik, First Woman President of Paralympic Committee of India, Mr. Bijayananda Nayak Jt.Secretary to Government of Odisha & Kalinga Stadium Administrator, Dr Uttiya Bhattacharya, ED Corporate Communication, IndianOil, Mr. Satyanarayan, Chairman Para Athletics and Mr. Kamla Kanta Ratha, President of Para Sports Association of Odisha.
Hundreds of world-class para-athletes will participate in this year's events, which run from 28th March to March 31st. There are over 1000 athletes representing different states, with a record number of women on the roster. As per Paralympic Committee of India state wise enrolment statistics, there are around 763 athletes with physical disabilities, 153 Visually Impaired athletes, 44 athletes with Cerebral Palsy, 7 athletes with Intellectual Disabilities and 20 short stature athletes. Also, 18% are wheelchair athletes and 25% are women athletes.
They will compete in multiple events across 12 disciplines in 185 categories, from 100m/200m/400m/800m/1500m/5000m, Javelin, Shot Put to Discus Throw, High Jump and Long Jump. Tokyo 2020 Paralympic medallists Devendra Jhajharia , Sumit Antil , Yogesh Kathunia, Nishad Kumar, Mariyappan Thangavelu, Praveen Kumar, Sharad Kumar and Sundar Singh Gurjar are among the other participants.
This championship is by far the most technically sound event as for the first time there will be a computerised photo finish, data analysis and inputs and electronic measures like time keeping all events and all digital data entries. Ms. Deepa Malik, the first Indian woman to win a medal in Paralympic Games said, "I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Government of Odisha , KIIT University and the Para Sports Association of Odisha for organising the event. We want para-athletics to become mainstream and not just be a CSR based event. The holistic approach to promoting para-sports is also in sync with the vision of our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi of a "New India" where we get equal opportunities.
Also, thank you to Shri. Naveen Patnaik for creating a great sporting culture in the state which prompted us to organise the event in Bhubaneswar – the 'Sports Capital of India'." Dr.Uttiya Bhattacharyya, Executive Director (Corporate Communications), IndianOil while interacting with the media said, "IndianOil is proud to be associated with the 20th edition of the National Para Athletics Championship as these games are in line with the Corporation's CorporateCore Values of Care and Passion. With more than 150 active players on its roll, IndianOil continues to support more sportspersons, with a mission to bring in sportspersons in games like shooting, Archery, Athletics, etc., and extend support to the Olympic sports line with the vision of the Hon'ble Prime Minister".
Shri Bijayananda Nayak, Joint Secretary to Government of Odisha, Department of Sports and Youth Services addressed the Press Conference and said, "We are working closely with Paralympic Committee of India for the successful and smooth conduct of this Championship. Our para-athletes have been phenomenal and we are delighted to be supporting and being a partner in their journey towards further excellence.I extend my sincere thanks to Dr. Deepa Malik and PCI, for thinking of Odisha as a host. She is inspirational and it is our honour and delight to be part of this event. "Our officials of Sports and Youth Services Department are working closely with officials of Para Sports Association of Odisha and PCI to ensure a memorable experience for all participating players and officials." President, Para Sports Association of Odisha said this is an additional but great feather in their cap after hosting Para-Badminton & Wheel Chair Fencing Nationals in Odisha.
The event's title sponsor is IndianOil and the event is being managed by Bhubaneswar-based Surge Sports. The event will be broadcasted by TV9 and its affiliates from 28th March onwards as encapsulated highlights. The live telecast will be done by Metro TV. The event will take place in Kalinga Stadium and KIIT University.