'IF YOU'RE NOT HAVING FUN, THEN WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?' - Allison Jones, Team USA Cyclist
The impact of sports is such that even when we feel we are at our lowest a good game of sport still manages to lift ourselves and give us a sense of confidence that we can take on the world. When we are at our lowest it inspires as to get going no matter what and aim for the best.
While we live in a world where money and fame are becoming of utmost importance in the world of sports there’s another section which does not get half the recognition the sport and the athletes in it get is Para sports. While there are people who give up on their dream of playing sports at the highest level just because of lack of inspiration and discipline in the world of para sports athletes have to have twice the determination, discipline and will-power to make it big.
Para sports is played by people who are physically challenged or intellectually disabled, while some sports can be variated depending on the able-body parts new sports such as goal ball have been invented. While it may not be a multimillion-dollar sport it does give the participants a sense of confidence and respect which they deserve and probably never got, that’s what sports does to you right!? The players, while the world might see them as physically disabled but for them while their playing their sport, when they get a chance to represent their country at the highest level, they feel nothing but pride and honor and at that moment they don’t fear anyone nor do they care of what anyone thinks of them, they simply enjoy the moment to its fullest.
TYPES OF PARA SPORTS
While there are sports like cycling, swimming, cricket, football etc. which are played there are numerous para sports invented which cross the limits of creativity and blow our minds and any normal individual would likely not last a minute in them such as –
- Goalball – It’s a sport designed for athletes with visually impairment. A team of three tries to score a goal in the opponent’s goal with a ball which has bells attached to it using eye- hand coordination.
- Boccia – While we still might find it difficult to play this sport with our full strength there are athletes who have just aced this sport. Boccia is a sport for physically challenged people where they can play individually or in a team of two or three, the basic agenda is to identify whose ball is closer to the jack (white ball) at the end of the round.
- Wheelchair tennis – Tennis in general is a sport which requires amble of strength and stamina and imagine on that you’re on a wheelchair sounds unplayable right? Still there are athletes who hustle it out and have excelled in it.
While we may praise the Tendulkar’s and the Ronaldo’s some of the Paralympic legends who deserve equal respect are Trischa Zorn regarded as the greatest Paralympic athlete of all time has won 55 medals for the US out of which 41 were gold which is more than Michael Phelps tally of 23 gold medals, Esther Vergeer who is regarded as the queen of the court, a physically disabled women who mastered the sport of wheelchair tennis and Lee Pearson regarded as the ‘natural in the saddle’ born with arthrogryposis no one would have thought he would go on to become one British most decorated athlete
All said done we all know what an athlete goes through to make it big in sports, it not only requires hours and hours of training it requires amble mental strength as well. A para athlete as to go through double the effort, double the training and the amount of mental energy required can’t be numbered, while society may term them as inadequate sports gives them a feeling where they feel equal and it’s what drives them to go beyond sports and gives them confidence to take on any challenge life throws at them.