Two specially-abled players have been selected to represent the nation in the Indian wheelchair basketball teams at the Asia Oceania Championship to be held in Thailand from November 29 to December 7.
Jyoti Toralkar(21), Resident of Bailur village of Khanapur taluk and Arati Suresh Pawar (31), resident of Angol, Belagavi.
Jyoti Toralakar started playing wheelchair basketball in 2018 with the help of her friend Lalitha Gavas. After seeing high disability players in action, she gained inspiration and curiosity to play wheelchair basketball, that also helped her overcome the initial inhibition
With the support of her family, she has been practicing wheelchair basketball everyday morning 8 to 10. She has won a couple of Gold medals in the State level 3on3 Wheelchair basketball championship held in Karnataka. She has won a bronze medal representing Karnataka and won the best women player award in the 6th National wheelchair basketball championship held at Mohali in 2019. She participated in the international U25 women’s training camp held in Thailand in 2019. She is also selected for the Indian National team for Asia Oceania Zone Championship & Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Qualifiers to be held in Thailand in November / December 2019.
According to her, wheelchair basketball made her physically as well as mentally strong. Apart from the game, she has learned many other things like hard work, dedication, honesty, smart thinking and discipline to name a few. Her goal is to win a Gold medal for India and also be the world’s No 1 wheelchair basketball player in doing so.
Arati S Pawar started playing Wheelchair Basketball in 2017 with the help of her friend Suraj Damanekar.
She was curious and later on, got very much inspired by observing players with higher disabilities than her, performing so well in this game.
Arati has participated in 3 National Championships so far, representing Karnataka – 2017 at Hyderabad (Karnataka team won the Bronze Medal), 2018 at Erode (team got 4th place) and 2019 at Mohali (team won the Bronze Medal).
She has now been selected to represent the Indian National Team for the Asia Oceania Zone (AOZ) Championship in Pattaya in end Nov 2019, which is a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Wheelchair basketball has made many changes in Arati’s life. She has learned many good qualities like hard work, dedication, honesty etc. Her goal is to represent India in the 2020 Paralympics and bring laurels for India!