Thursday, June 23, 2016

TED Talk by Madhavi Latha - Importance of Sports Among Disabled


Meeting Madhavi Latha
Swimming champ, AVP at Scope International, Car Rally Driver, Speaker, Supporter of paralympic sports Madhavi Latha is no ordinary person. Affected by polio when she was 7 years old Madhavi continued with her academics, graduated, got a bank job with SBH and worked for 15 years. Then she moved to Chennai. In 2007 her health deteriorated with muscular weakness. She was given a year to live - treatments suggested were a risky spinal surgery and / or hydrotherapy. Once in water Madhavi, who never swam before, felt liberated from her pain and constraints - she found she could do movements that she could not do on the ground.
Madhavi Latha at the inaugural

Waiting for the Chief Guest to throw the basketball
Madhavi learned to swim, got herself coaches. Today she has 22 gold medals in various national and state competitions in paralympics swimming. She is also the General Secretary of Paralympic swimming association of Tamil Nadu, President of Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India. She founded a movement and Charitable trust called 'Yes We Too Can' which enables differently abled persons to take to sports and improve their health and fitness. The never-say-die and immensely spirited Madhavi drives a hand operated, modified hatchback.
Wheelchair Basketball Athletes - Wonderful Spriit
Madhavi is in Hyderabad currently to organise a technical camp for the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India (June 22-26, 2016), a first of its kind prestigious event offered by the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation. I witnessed the opening ceremony yesterday. Its incredible to see the energy and the spirit of the wheelchair basketball players. There were 80 players representing various states with coaches and officials.
Athletes practicing
I was introduced to Madhavi Latha by my friend Rajasekharan when the event was being planned and I shared what I could with her. It was great meeting her for a few minutes yesterday and hopefully I will be able to go and witness the Wheelchair Basketball match between India and Thailand on June 26, 2016 at the Kotla Vijay Bhaskar Reddy stadium, Yousufguda and the valedictory session.

Wishing Madhavi all the best of things to come.

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