21st National Para-Swimming Championship was organised jointly by Paralympic committee of India & Narayan Seva Sansthan in Udaipur (Rajasthan) from 25-27 March.
The championship was inaugurated at Khel Gaon, Udaipur on 25 March by Para Olympian, Padma Bhushan Devendra Jhajharia and Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna awardee, Krishna Nagar.
383 physically challenged swimmers participated from all over India. Swimmers from 23 states, viz. Delhi, Chandigarh, Goa, Gujarat, Hariyana, Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Tripura,,etc and one team of the Indian Army participated in the championship.
Winners of this event automatically qualify for the 2022 Para Asian Games to be held in China.
Organising the event
The event was organised at Maharana Pratap Khel Gaon Tarataal (sports academy) at Udaipur. The first time such an event was organised in Udaipur, was the 17th Para-Swimming championship, which was again jointly organised by Narayan Seva Sansthan.
Proper arrangements for the participants, which included wheel chairs, vehicles, support staff at the railway station, bus station and airport was made to receive the participants. During the event, facilities such as reception, accommodation, vehicles, food, protocol, drinking water, electricity, cleaning, first aid, excursion, etc were handled properly by different committees. Special arrangements like proper shade & large screen were installed along the pool side for the audience.
Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) is recognised by World Paralympic Association. The results of PCI are authorised & certified. Dr. VK Dabas, PCI Para-Swimming Chairman, mentioned the following.
Para Swimming – 3rd time in Rajasthan
National Para-Swimming started in October 2000. The event was held at Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh). 152 para swimmers from 16 states participated in this event.
This was the third such competition in Rajasthan and the second time in Udaipur.
The first Para-Swimming competition hosted by Rajasthan was the 16th Para-Swimming Championship held at Jaipur in 2016.
The second such event in Rajasthan was the 17th Para-Swimming Championship held at Udaipru in 2017.
Benefits to Swimmers from Government
National level Para swimmers receive certain facilities & awards from Central & State government. In some states, even government jobs are given to the players who have performed very well & won medals.
Rajasthan – Job & Cash prize
Hariyana – Rs. 3 Lakh Cash prize
Madhya Pradesh – Considered eligible for Vikram Award (Vikram Award is one of the highest sports award in MP)
India’s performance in International Paralympics
India has won 4 medals in the 15th Summer Paralympic Games held at Brazil in 2016 and 19 medals at the 16th Paralympic Games held in Tokyo in 2021. More medals are expected from Indian athletes in the 2024 International Paralympic Games to be held at Paris in France.