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INDIAN BLIND SPORTS ASSOCIATION

 
 

Indian Blind Sports Association

With 133 institutions and sports organizations from 23 states affiliated to it Indian Blind Sports Association is the largest national level sports body devoted to the promotion of sports among the visually challenged in the country.  The Association was established in April 1986 through the initiative of the Blind Relief Association, Delhi (BRA), a premier organization for the blind in India.  The objective was to promote national-level sports activities for the blind.  The Association is registered as a non-profit body under Societies Registration Act.  The Association is recognized by the Indian Olympic Association and affiliated to the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), representing India in this apex sports body of the visually challenged.  It is also affiliated with the Paralympic Committee of India.

National Sports Meets

Jointly with BRA, the Indian Blind Sports Association has been organizing National Sports Meets for the Blind that bring together at one place hundreds of enthusiastic blind sportspersons from all over the country, once every two years.  These National Sports Meets, which include athletic events like races, long jump, javelin and discus throws, shot put, swimming along with indoor game event of chess, have earned the reputation of being the largest and premier sports event for the visually challenged.  The 16th National Sports Meet for the Blind, which took place in November 2008 in Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana, registered an impressive participation of nearly 450 sportspersons and officials representing 40 institutions from 14 states.  A unique feature of the Meet was the participation of a 5-member team from Mauritius as special invite.

Affiliation with International Blind Sports Federation in 1998 was a major step forward for the Association. While on one hand it opened up opportunities for Indian blind sports persons to participate in prestigious international blind sports events, on the other it has significantly helped Indian Blind Sports Association to bring in greater standardization to blind sports in India.  This could be achieved through the introduction of IBSA rules and standards in the National Sports Meets, as well as through coaching camps conducted by the Association.  The Association is also fortunate to receive support and guidance of national sports bodies like the Indian Olympic Association and the Sports Authority of India in conducting its various activities.

Coaching Camps and Seminars

With a view to enhancing the standards of blind sports in the country and to encourage new games the Association conducts coaching camps regularly.  In these coaching camps services of reputed coaches and other experts are employed to transmit knowledge and practices of scientific training, sports medicine, health and diet etc. to the participants from across the country to help them upgrade their coaching skills and knowledge on sports.  Also, attempt is made to widen the range of sports activities through presenting demonstration of new games like football, judo, powerlifting, table tennis together with traditional sports like kabaddi.  Seminars constitute an important part of these coaching camps, where the participants discuss and exchange views on appropriate strategies to popularize and promote of blind sports in the country.

Indian Blind Sports Association takes pride that it sent contingents of blind sports persons from India to represent the country in all the three IBSA World Championships and Games for the Blind held so far: in Madrid, Spain in 1998; in Quebec, Canada in 2003; and in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2007. Most recently an athletic team was sent to take part in the 2009 IBSA Youth and Students Championships held in July 2009.  In this Championships the eight participating athletes bagged 9 gold, 1 silver and 7 bronze medals.  For international participation the Association conducts trials to select the athletes and organizes special training camps for the team members besides making all logistic and other arrangements including equipping the team members with proper gear.  The Association thus undertakes the major financial and organizational responsibilities with corporate support and technical advise from Indian Olympic Association and Sports Authority of India.  The Association is grateful to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India that it supported the participation of the 13-member Indian team to the 3rd IBSA World Championships and games in Sao Paulo 2007.  The grant was released through the Paralympic Committee of India.

The Association has worked out a long-term development plan for the promotion of sports for the blind and it hopes for support and assistance from the Government, sports bodies, corporate houses and individuals in making it a success.  
 
Indian Blind Sports Association has been working assiduously to highlight the courage and achievements of blind sports persons in the country.  It was therefore a proud moment for the visually challenged sportspersons that Ravinder Singh Nagar an outstanding partially blind athlete recommended by the Association took part as relay runner in the Athens Olympic Torch Run in Delhi on 16 June 2004. 

Promotion of Football

Since 2004 the Association has taken up a major initiative to promote football among the visually impaired.  It has organized demonstrations of 5-a-side football and distributed special footballs to the participating institutions in the National Coaching Camp and Seminar on Athletics and Sports for the Blind.  The Association wishes to place on record its gratitude to the Government of Brazil for gifting special footballs to it at the behest of International Blind Sports Federation.  To meet the growing demand for these footballs the Association has got similar footballs fabricated.  These footballs are being distributed at the time of National Sports Meets and Coaching Camps organized by it.  Coinciding with the National Coaching Camp on Athletics and Sports Seminar held in June 2005, May 2006, May 2007, May 2008 and May 2009 the Association has organized National Football Tournaments.  These Tournaments have now become a regular feature which receive wide media coverage and help generate interest in this game.

International Achievements

With a view to bringing blind sports into the mainstream of Paralympic movement in the country, Indian Blind Sports Association joined hands with Paralympic Committee of India as its affiliate national federation in charge of blind sports. This has opened the way for Indian blind sportspersons to take part also in national and international sports events held under the Paralympic banner.  At the 9th Fespic Games held in Kuala Lumpur in November 2006 for the first time a large number of blind sports persons from India took part in this prestigious sports events in Asia and Pacific region and did the country proud by bagging 2 gold in swimming (Kanchanmala Pandey), 2 bronze in long jump and javelin (Rishikant Sharma) and one bronze in shotput (Hav.Joginder Singh).  Earlier Ravinder Singh Nagar bagged 3 gold medals in 400 m, 800 m and 1500 m races in Electrabel Paralympic Championships held in Belgium in May 2006.  However, the greatest success of Indian blind athletes was seen in the 2009 IBSA World Youth and Students Championships held in Colorado Springs, USA in July 2009 in which 4 girls and 4 boys under junior (under 15 yr) and intermediate (under 19 yr) won 9 gold, 1 silver and 7 bronze medals. Sanjay Singh (Junior – B3) 3 gold in 100m, 200m and long jump; Amar Singh Nishad (intermediate – B-2) gold in 800m & 1500m, bronze in 5000m; Ankur Dhama (Junior – B1) gold in 400m and 800m; Gaurav Singh (Intermediate - B2) gold in javelin; Harmanpreet Kaur (Junior - B3) gold in shot put, bronze in 100m; Manisha Kadukar (intermediate – B2) silver in 200m and bronze in 100m; Mamta Kolamkar (intermediate – B3) bronze in javelin and shot put; and Gulshan (intermediate – B3) bronze in long jump and 100m. 

 

Promotion of New Sports

In its endeavours to enlarge the range of sports for the blind the Association is collaborating with mainstream sports associations and experts to promote such sports as powerlifting, kabaddi  and judo. The Association collaborated with Judo Federation of India in facilitating the visit of Mr.Bruno Carmeni (8-Dan) a celebrated Judo coach from Italy who has been associated with International Blind Sports Association and International Paralympic Committee, to conduct special camp for India’s top Judo players and coaches and to conduct special clinic on teaching Judo to the visually challenged. Recently the Association is working with Powerlifting Federation of India for promoting powerlifting for the blind.  With the support of Powerlifting Federation the 1st IBSA Powerlifting Championships for the Blind was conducted in May 2009.  The second Championships is to be held in December 2009.  Similarly, the Association is working with Sh.Charan Singh, a veteran coach from the Kabaddi Federation of India to formulate Kabaddi rules and regulation for the blind through organizing clinics and seminars. 

International Relations


As an active member of International Blind Sports Federation the Association’s representatives have taken part in the General Assemblies of the World body held in Beijing, China in 2005 and in Antalya, Turkey in 2009.  A representative of the Association also participated in the IBSA Asia Strategic Planning Session held in Manila, Philippines in February 2004.  The Association is keen to promote active sports relations with other countries, especially the neighbouring south Asian countries by inviting their visually challenged sportspersons to take part in events organized in India. On our invitation an athletic team from Nepal participated in the 14th National Sports Meets for the Blind held in Delhi in 2004, and in 2008 a team from Mauritius took part in the 16th Nationals held in Ludhiana, while two observers from Pakistan also came to see the Meet. 

The Association is making every effort to raise the profile of blind sports. On one hand it is organizing coaching camps and seminars on blind sports for promoting quality and excellence, on the other it is striving for media coverage of events and achievements of blind sportspersons. The Association strongly believes that blindsports is no less serious an activity than the mainstream sports.  With this belief the Association is working hard on marketing  blindsports events to corporate houses and get them interested in this largely unexplored area.

 

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