Special role for cycling mentor

Special Olympics International has appointed Avtar Singh as a technical official for cycling at the World Summer Games

By Jayesh Thaker in Jamshedpur
  • Published 11.03.19, 12:45 PM
  • Updated 11.03.19, 12:45 PM
  • a min read
  •  
Avtar Singh in Ranchi on Sunday. The Telegraph picture

Steel city’s special cycling mentor Avtar Singh has added another feather to his cap.

Special Olympics International has appointed him as a technical official (for cycling) at the World Summer Games scheduled in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, from March 14 to 21.

A technical officer briefs coaches about how to conduct the events and handle special cyclists.

A highly experienced Singh, who has done a diploma in coaching from Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala and is a seven-time national champion, will leave for Dubai from Calcutta in the wee hours of Monday.

It is for the third time Singh has been assigned the duty of a technical official. He acted in similar capacities during the World Summer Games in Shanghai, China (2007) and Los Angeles (2015).

“I thank Special Olympics International for reposing faith in me once again. My job in Abu Dhabi will be to guide cycling coaches and brief them about the technicalities of the sport,” Singh, who runs a school called Jeevika for the intellectually impaired with his wife Sukhbeer in Sonari, said.

Interestingly, Singh who has been isolated by Special Olympics Jharkhand for pointing a finger at the alleged mistreatment of special athletes, is still being recognised by Special Olympics International.

“I raised my voice after a special athlete Md Azharuddin died while travelling to Jamshedpur on train. He represented Jharkhand in the Special Olympics National Powerlifting Championship held at Patiala in 2014. Azharuddin died due to extreme heat in the sleeper compartment of the train,” Singh, a resident of Sonari, recalled.

The mentor was subsequently forced to resign from Jharkhand Special Olympics in 2014.

“I am happy that I am able to guide our athletes in Jeevika. Moreover, Special Olympics International also believes in me. What more can I want?” Singh said.

Meanwhile, the eastern zone unit of All India Sikh Students Federation feted Singh on Sunday for his new role in Abu Dhabi Games.