First Para-National Games this year under Khelo India Scheme

First Para-National Games this year under Khelo India Scheme

Women Paralympians, file photo for representation.

The inaugural National Para Games, on the lines of National Games for able-bodied athletes, will be held under the Khelo India Scheme in June-July in Bengaluru.

The tentative dates for the multi-sport event for para-athletes, to compete among states, have been put from June 28 to July 7, according to the technical handbook issued by the sports ministry.

The Paralympic Committee of India will be responsible for the technical conduct of the Games while all the funding will be done by the sports ministry under the Khelo India Scheme.

The Games will be held for the age group of 16 to 40 (men and women) in 10 disciplines -- para-athletics, badminton, chess, blind judo, para powerlifting, shooting para-sport, para-swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing.

Each discipline will have various classifications to be done under the aegis of the PCI.

There will be 416 medal events (220 for men, 180 for women and 16 mixed) while the total number of participants has been fixed at 2192 (1311 for men, 837 women and 44 for mixed events).

PCI vice-president Gursharan Singh said the Games will be a biennial affair and the inaugural event will also serve as the qualifiers for the Para Asian Games to be held in Jakarta in October.

"It is a momentous decision (by the government) that the first National Para Games will be held this year. It shows that para-athletes have also been treated at par with able-bodied athletes," Gursharan told PTI.

"These National Para Games will be held every alternate year and this year, these Games will serve as the selection trial of the Para Asian Games to be held in Indonesia in October," he added.

Para athletics will have the most medal events (167), followed by para swimming (135).

The events will be held at four venues -- Kanteerava Stadium, Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, SAI Centre Bangaluru and Karnataka Badminton Association Stadium.

"The first National Para Games represents a national, multi-sport competition for athletes with a physical, visual or intellectual impairment that reflects the highest standards of athletic excellence and diversity in the National Region," the ministry said.

"An overarching competition will take the shape of a para-Olympiad and will be organised ... and the technical conduct will be at par and benchmarked to international standards."

Entries of the athletes nominated by the state paralympic association or respective state level para-sports federations will be considered for participation.