Arjuna Awardee Paralympian Varun Singh Bhati: “It is heartwrenching that brands don’t want to sponsor para-athletes”

Arjuna Awardee para high-jumper Varun Singh Bhati was afflicted by poliomyelitis at young age but that didn’t deter him from achieving greater heights in life. Bhati won the bronze medal in the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil when he jumped 1.86 m, his personal best. He won the bronze in the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships by clearing a 1.77 m jump. He won a silver medal in the 2018 Asian Para Games, recording a jump of 1.82 m. The Playknox spoke with him about his journey so far.

 

Tell us about your journey so far.

I am on my way to achieve more for myself and my country. My family and my school have played a big role and have been supportive.

 

What have you been up to during the lockdown? How have you been training?

 

I have been training at home, I have accumulated gym equipment at home and since March after the lockdown, I have been practicing here.

 

Do you think more can be done to accelerate the status for Paralympians in the country?

Para-sports has shown great improvements in last couple of years and also all para -athletes has had been performing great. So I believe there should be some broadcast of our events so that people can know how much we work hard , not only for us but also for the viewers to get motivation from the grass root level and frequent competitions.

 

 

Do you think enough focus is being given on mental health of the athletes?

No I don’t think so, but yes has improved a lot more in couple of years

 

Are enough brands coming forward to support Paralympians? If not, why do you think they should?

 

No not at all and this is heart wrenching to see the different treatment. They should focus on us as well because we work as hard or more as any other Olympians or athletes. In the last couple of years we have been performing well and winning more medals for our country and making our country equally proud globally

 

What are your future goals?

I have quite a lot, starting from winning gold medal this summer Paralympic in Tokyo 2021 following with more medals for my country.

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