Two Bhutanese athletes to participate for the first time in Asian Paralympic Games
The Bhutan Paralympic Committee (BPC) led the Bhutanese delegation to 3rd the Asian Para Games being held in Jakarta-Palembang, Indonesia from the 6th to the 13th of October, 2018.
Since the establishment of the Bhutan Paralympic Committee, two athletes will represent Bhutan for the first time ever at the Asian Paralympic Games. The para archer will compete in the 70 meters wheelchair recurve archery and the para shooter will compete in the 10 meter wheelchair air rifle shooting.
Pema Rigsel, 30-yearold para archer said, “Since this is my first international games, my aspiration is to bring medal for the country.”
“If you are physically challenged, your dream of becoming a sportsman is far from being over,” Pema, who is from Thimphu, believes.
Following a head surgery five years ago, Pema Rigsel’s life changed forever.
The lower half of his body had become paralysed.
“I thought it’s all over. I thought there is no way out.”
When Bhutan Archery Federation came knocking he jumped at the chance for a change.
“This chance to become a sportsman makes me happy. The officials encourage me to train hard by saying I can make a living out of the sport for the rest of my life.”
Bhutan Archery Federation’s National Coach, Tashi Tshering said they want to give equal opportunity to all.
The initiative to include physically-challenged people started, this year.
Tashi Tshering said they just have a few physically-challenged individuals training with them.
“We will assess their fitness and see if they can go forward with the training.”
The Paralympic Games give opportunities to individuals, with physical disabilities, live their dream.
Held after every Olympic Games, it is an international sports festival for athletes with disabilities called as Paralympian.
For Pema, realising the goal is not a farfetched dream anymore.
Similarly, Kinley Dem, 24 year old para shooter has also the same dreams.
“After living an isolated life, I never thought that I would be able to perform at this stage through sports. I am glad to have taken this opportunity and I will perform my best for a medal.”
The Bhutan Paralympic Committee was established on September, 2017 and is the youngest Paralympic Committee in the world. It was affiliated with the International Paralympic Committee and Asian Paralympic Committee in the same year.
The Bhutan Paralympic Committee was established with the objective to provide a platform for individuals living with disabilities to participate in and shine through sports and to promote the general interest and welfare for the disabled in the country, through participation in sports.