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21 Sep 2019, Edition - 1530, Saturday

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Coimbatore

Abbas courts challenges differently

Subhashini R

Challenges are dreadful as surmounting them and moving forward with confidence is no easy task. Overcoming challenges can better be learnt from the differently-abled and the country’s second ranked Para Badminton player Sugil Abbas can be inspiration to many an abled person.

Abbas began his career in 2011 and has been playing at national level championships. He has to his credit 15 national level titles. This undeterred champion went on to achieve the Indonesian Open title in 2016, his first international championship. The Asian Championship in China and the BWF Para Badminton VI Spanish International Championship were small steps in his ladder to success. The icing on the cake was the Uganda Para-Badminton International Open in 2017 where he won the Bronze and took the Silver with Pankaj Singh in the men’s doubles.

Abbas recounts that though it started playing as a hobby, it has become a career where he can pursue his interests freely. “I do not have a left hand below the elbow. But, that is not a challenge because in this sport, there are participants who are more differently-abled than I am. That is inspiration for me,” he tells Covai Post.

For Abbas’ coach, the primary goal is to work towards the 2020 Para-Olympics and for Abbas it is No.1 rank before that. “I have seen him beat Europeans and other Asians in international tournaments. After the Ugandan Trip, we are sure he will be in the first 15 ranks at the international level,” he says.

Generous contributions to help him take part in international tournaments and training for the Para Olympics will definitely see him bring laurels for the country, his coach asserts.

Abbas admits that more than anything else, fund is his real challenge. Para-sports are highly expensive and to find the right funding is vital. ‘EduDharma’, an online academic crowd-funding platform, has designed a page for this young champion. It details the cost breakdown and online donation option so that the public can contribute towards sending Abbas to the Thailand International Championship 2017.

A representative from the organisation says, “If the player is focused more on gathering funds than on training, it would not be right. Since we need to work together to send him to the Olympics, we took it up as an obligation.”

R Raveendran, Secretary of RAAC (Residents Awareness Association of Coimbatore ) and benefactor of Abbas, agrees with the coach that he has the potential to enter Para Olympics. The Government should take a look at the importance of para-sports, he says, and adds: “Only such support and contribution by all of us can encourage these players bring honour and international fame.”

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