[Think Sport]: Disability is no barrier to sport
Dharmesh Mistry is a contributing writer to Think Sport.
In November, three students from SKSN, a school for the disabled in Rajasthan, travelled to the UK to share their experiences at a number of community events around the country and further demonstrate their sporting ability. Their event was covered in the Bolton News:
Janak said: “I’m not lesser than anybody else. I can compete with anybody else and in my mind I have no disability.
“There are kids with worse disabilities than me, and if those guys can run around and play sports, why can’t I?”
Janak keeps fit by walking almost a mile on his hands every day.
SKSN is a co-ed school for over 550 physically challenged children. Based 28km outside of Jodhpur, Rajasthan on the fringe of the Thar Desert, the majority of SKSN students’ disabilities are caused by polio. A certain number of them also suffer from genetic disabilities.
SKSN place great emphasis on physical education alongside their academic progress. Since its inception in 1991 SKSN has put in place a sporting curriculum which requires that the students take part in 1 hour of exercise every morning and evening. This has helped to build the strength, flexibility and stamina in the students’ limbs.
In 2002 and 2003 the children from SKSN took part in UK’s National Mini Games (a mini version of the Para Olympics) for 8-12 year olds and left with most of the gold medals and trophies.
In 2004 SKSN started the IMAGE program (supported by the Laureus ‘Sport for Good Foundation’) with the aim of bringing able and disabled children together through sport. The tremendous success of the IMAGE program is a testament to the growing confidence of the children who participate – furthering their attitude that disabilities will not be a barrier to their future aspirations.