Para Sports Camp Creates Hope for PWDs


A 12-day training program called ‘Para Sports Camp’ was conducted for persons with disabilities (PWD) beginning January 15. They completed the athletic and shooting training yesterday.

Organizers said the three talented disabled persons with the capacity to represent the country internationally have been found and grown mainly through these initiatives.

The camp serves as a platform to showcase five exciting para-sports disciplines, which include para-athletes, shooting, archery, badminton, and table tennis.

For the first three days, they trained at the Bhutan Amateur Athletics Federation (BAAF) ground with both theoretical sessions followed by practical sessions. The same was applied to the shooting camp in the Changlingmithang Shooting Federation Hall.

According to the coach, Dawa Lham, there are ten participants in total. Whereas, only two participants are being trained for shotput like Chimi Dema who made history by clinching a silver medal at the 5th Indian Open Championship in May 2023 while Indra, a newly registered participant, is the mother of one child.

The coach mentioned that there are six prospective shooters: two former participants and four recent freshmen trainees. He said talented disabled people with the capacity to represent their country internationally have been found and grown mainly through these initiatives.

A trainee, Tandin Gyeltsen, 27, residing in Thimphu, has currently joined this para-sport camp. He is a half-body paralyzed patient who is a very energetic and motivated person in the camp shooting. “I joined this camp with a motto to encourage the other people who are suffering from a similar situation and left behind,” Tandin said.

He also expressed his strong opinions about the shooting. He made a comparison between the real-world shooting instruction he received and the online game PUBG. “I’m really sad that I can’t fulfill those obligations to shoot first. But each approach should be guided by a person’s conviction that they can succeed. So, I was eager to try more shots during the training because of that leading approach.”

Even though he is only partially paralyzed, he is determined to train hard and represent the country in the international para-sport camp.

Similarly, having overcome the challenges of a car accident that paralyzed his leg at the age of four, Tshering Penjor, a sixth-grader, was open to the idea of joining the training.

He said, “The six-day camp has been very fruitful, and I was initially interested in athletes. However, the plan has shifted, and the international level of my class has very powerful competitors.” Currently, he is excited and encouraged to get trained in shooting camp following his coach Dawa Lham.

Both participants are fuelled up to carry forward the training even after the formal training gets closed, despite their challenges.

Aside from the recent participant, Kinley Dema suffered from partial paralysis of her lower limbs. She travelled to various sites inside the para-sport camp to compete against athletes from other countries, including China, Korea, and Japan. Others who have just joined are eager to train and compete, just like her.

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