Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik, who was recently seen in the news as they staged a protest against the WFI chief, were among five athletes nominated for the BBC Indian Sportswoman of The Year award on Monday. Tokyo Olympics silver medalist weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, shuttler PV Sindhu and boxer Nikhat Zareen were others who made it to the top.
The athletes were shortlisted after a panel of sports journalists and writers voted for their favorite players based on their achievements. The winner will be chosen by public voting, which began on Monday and will run until midnight on February 20. The name of the winner will be announced on March 5th. The Head of India BBC News, Rupa Jha announced that they have introduced a new award category and i.e., BBC Indian para-sportswoman of the year. The 2018 Asian para-Games gold medalist- Ekta Bhyan, welcomed the move and stressed on making the stadiums more accessible to physically challenged athletes.
”The stadiums and swimming pools should be accessible easily for disabled athletes. Mental barriers need to be broken, about 60 to 70 percent of the disabled population is still restricted to homes. More awareness and work is required at the grassroots level,”
”Sports should be a part of education. Why should disabled athletes start their careers at the age of 15 or 16, sport should be accessible to them much earlier and there should be a comprehensive and non-discriminatory policy for the disabled,”
Vijender mentioned that women athletes are two steps ahead of their male competitors and deserve more respect than awards.
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