Category Winners of the Year Winner

DISABLED BUT DETERMINED

Photographer

ARUN MOHANRAJ

Category

Editorial Photography - Sports

Company

Submission Group

Amateur

Year

2022

Country / Region

United Kingdom

Pain and reward



Series Description:



What drives a athlete/sports person to go through the pain of practice and perseverance? The answer in most instances will be the sweet taste of winning. Is this the same in case of a para-athlete? the answer might not necessarily be as straight forward. So i took the project and followed most of the para-athletic events in 2018. When i interviewed a Paralympic runner what drove him to travel long distances and participate in the Paralympic events even though he hasn't won any major events then answer was thought provoking. He mentioned that out in the track he is seen as an athelete and not as disabled. Out in the world these athletes are always seen with a sympathetic eye and disability doesn't have to be expressed just in verbal responses to hurt their pride and self respect.But the moment they enter the track they transform into athletes and sports personnel. Unlike an abled bodied athlete the less abled athlete face a lot more challenges in pursuit of success. Travel is only a small part of the challenge they face. Some of the para athletes have spinal injury and hence loose their ability to control their body temperature and stand the risk of stroke when out in the field for long. They are easily prone to further injury and poor wound healing. other have problems controlling their bladder and bowel. So more than the taste of victory the feeling of recognised as an athlete and by that as a normal person like any other athlete drives them through the pain of practice and failure. So when victory does come through the door it is savoured with more vigour and enthusism which is well deserved.

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