Paralympian Amit Saroha honoured unsung heroes who contributed in his journey -

Paralympian Amit Saroha honoured unsung heroes who contributed in his journey

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World Championship medalist and Asian Games champion Amit presented Rs. 25 lakhs each to his Escort & Personal Coach, who helped him achieve sporting excellence

 

As an athlete, I have been quite fortunate to play for India and win medals at the World Championships, Asian Games and other international events. This has been possible with regular support from many quarters, naming a few, my support staff, coaches, friends, Sports Authority of India, Haryana Sports Department. I want to express my gratitude to all those who have supported me, through a humble gesture at a gratefulness party. This event is very special for me because today what I am is all because of my team & they made me from Amit To Amit Saroha Paralympian. There has been exceptional support from unsung heroes. I wanted to highlight their efforts and tell the world about their contribution in making me an international medalist. – Amit Saroha, Indian Paralympian

Rakesh Thapliyal

Sonipat: This is a unique gesture by an Indian athlete. It may soon become a tradition to honour, those who work behind the curtain to help athletes to achieve great heights in the sporting journey, by the athlete.

World Championship medalist, Asian Games Champion and Arjuna Awardee, Amit Saroha presented Rs. 25 lakhs each to his Escort & Personal Coach, who helped him achieve sporting excellence.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games was the first big break for para-athlete Amit Saroha, who has been living his sporting dreams in a wheelchair since 2007. Since the 2010 CWG he competed in three Para-Asian Games, winning multiple medals in club and discus throw events, won silver in the world championship in 2015 & 2017 and became the country’s second para-athlete to compete in three Paralympic Games (2012 London, 2016 Rio, 2020 Tokyo).

To honour the unsung heroes, who contributed to his Paralympic journey, Amit Saroha organized a thanksgiving event in Sonipat on October 9. Showing a gesture to acknowledge the efforts of his support staff, including the coaching team, the triple-Paralympian presented a special gift to each one of them.

The list of honoured people included Chief Coach Wazir (SAI), Ms. Lalita Sharma (Regional Director SAI Sonipat), Gursharan Singh (Secretary General Paralympic Committee Of India), Physio Ankur, Paralympians Dharambir Nain & Rinku Hooda. Special recognition was given to Amit Saroha’s Personal Coach Devender & Escort Devender Saroha. Each Was Awarded a Cheque of 25 lakhs each from Amit Saroha Personal Prize Money.

Each honoured person thanked Amit Saroha’s Unique Gesture & Shared Their Personal experiences with Amit Saroha. Sports lover and a very famous personality, Dr. R S Tonk was also present on this occasion.

Gursharan said, “This is a very good beginning of new direction & PCI will whole heartily support it”. Lalita said,  “Amit is a big heart person who always believes in giving his best support to others & always stays positive. Dharambir Nain said,  “ Amit has always supported me as my guru & I am grateful to him in making me an athlete irrespective of my competition with him in the same event.

Amit Saroha said, “As an athlete, I have been quite fortunate to play for India and win medals at the World Championships, Asian Games and other international events. This has been possible with regular support from many quarters, naming a few, my support staff, coaches, friends, Sports Authority of India, Haryana Sports Department. I want to express my gratitude to all those who have supported me, through a humble gesture at a gratefulness party. This event is very special for me because today what I am is all because of my team & they made me from Amit To Amit Saroha Paralympian”.

“There has been exceptional support from unsung heroes. I wanted to highlight their efforts and tell the world about their contribution in making me an international medalist,” he concluded.

It was a horrific night in September in 2007, when a road accident confined Saroha to a wheelchair forever. The accident gave him a severe spine injury and a permanent disability, but it was his never-say-die attitude that helped him carve out a sports career even in a wheelchair.

In his para-sports journey, spanning over one decade, he made the country proud at the international level on a number of occasions. His sporting excellence got him the prestigious sporting honour Arjuna Award.

Saroha, a former national-level hockey player, was introduced to para-sports in 2007.  “It was September 21, 2007, when in a road accident I had a severe spinal injury and after a few days of treatment, I was told by the doctors that for the rest of my life I would be in a wheelchair. For a moment it came to my mind that everything is over for me. But then I realized that the accident gave me permanent disability and I didn’t lose my life. So, whatever happened was my destiny,” recalls Saroha, who hails from village Bayanpur, Sonepat. “I consider the date of the accident as my new birth and since then I always celebrate it with my friends,” he added.

At the time of his days in the Indian Spinal Injury Centre, he came across an American guy, who introduced him to wheelchair rugby. Later on Saroha formed the Indian team and played a demo match against Brazil in World Para-Games in Banglore in 2009. “In Bangalore, I came to know about para-sports and with the six months of training in shot put I made it to the national squad. After that as we say rest is history,” says Saroha.

 

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