An injury after a recent road mishap has cast doubts over the participation of Rakesh Bagh in the national floorball preparatory camp for the Special Olympics World Winter Games. Three special athletes and a coach from Jharkhand will be attending the national floorball preparatory camp which is scheduled from March 6 to 11 in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh.
The camp is being organised by Special Olympics Bharat (SOB) with logistical support from Sports Authority of India (SAI). It is the final camp for selecting the national floorball squad for the Russia Games. The Special Olympics World Winter Games is scheduled to be held in Kaza, Russia from January 22 to 28, 2022.
Rakesh (24), a resident of the city’s Sitaramdera locality, experienced unbearable pain in his left leg during a short training camp held at JRD Tata Sports Complex last month.
“Rakesh just could not move properly and left the camp after 10 minutes. He was also not being able to walk properly,” said Special Olympics Jharkhand (SOJ) assistant area director, Satbir Singh Sahota.
According to him, chances of Rakesh making it to the preparatory camp looks very slim. “We blame Rakesh’s parents for the situation. They allowed him to drive motorbike which caused an accident. We appeal to the parents of our athletes to not allow their wards to take any unnecessary risk,” Sahota added.
The SOJ has also requested parents to allow their wards to do some physical exercises. “The special athletes sat idle due to the Covid-induced lockdown. Light exercise will help the special athletes to tune-up for the camp,” Sahota explained.
According to him, the preparatory was originally scheduled from March 15 to 20 but has been preponed due to a festival in Himachal Pradesh.
“The Indian floorball team for the Russia Games will be selected during the camp in Bilaspur. Rakesh is a good player and stands a fair chance of getting the nod. But his injury has forced us to keep our fingers crossed,” Sahota said.
This is the second time Rakesh would miss the preparatory camp. He missed the national powerlifting camp for Special Olympics World Winter Games in 2019 (in Abu Dhabi) as he fractured his collar bone after falling down from his bike.
Sital Sikka (East Singhbhum) and Rahul Kumar Sharma (Giridih) are others who would be attending the camp. Abhiranjan Kumar (Ranchi) will go as a coach.
According to Sahota, the athletes and their coach will leave for Bilaspur on March 4. “We will shortly book their train tickets. We will ensure that valid passports, Aadhar cards, and IQ certificates of the special athletes are ready by February 15,” he informed.