International Purple Fest, Goa 2024: A Sporting Extravaganza for PwDs, Visually Impaired and Special Athletes

The International Purple Fest in Goa is set to unfold a unique tapestry of sporting events for the visually impaired, persons with disabilities (PwDs) and Special athletes; showcasing skill, determination, and international camaraderie. In an unprecedented collaboration between the Office of the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, the Director of Social Welfare, and the Sports Authority of Goa, this event promises to be a celebration of inclusivity and sporting excellence. The opening day of the purple sports segment witnessed intense action on the field of wheelchair cricket on a sunny day at SAG ground, Campal. The indoor action kicked off in the unified badminton event at Manohar Parrikar indoor stadium at Campal; while the international Chess Championship for visually impaired commenced at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium at Taleigao Plateau. Hosts Goa were pitted against a strong Mumbai in cricket. While the debutantes fought hard, scoring 99 runs in 19.4 overs, the formidable and experienced Mumbai outfit chased down the target in 6.3 overs, cantering to 101/3. Goa’s Mahesh batted very well scoring 49 runs off 44 balls. Stany contributed 25 runs off 38 balls before Goa were all out. In the other matches, Karnataka beat MP by 11 runs; UP beat Telangana by 10 wickets; and Delhi beat Rajasthan by 77 runs. In all eight teams are participating with two groups comprising 4 teams each. The top two teams of the league phase, will play the final on 11th Jan. Earlier, Power Minister Sudin Dhavalikar declared the event open in the presence of other dignitaries. In unified badminton, a ‘special athlete’ partners a normal person and together, the doubles pair take on their opponents coming from seven states, namely – Kerala, Odisha, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Pondicherry and Goa. Each state has sent two men and two women shuttlers for the tournament. The opening day saw ‘Divisioning’ being done in order to provide an even and fair competition for athletes with disability through the grouping process. The competitive action will start on Tuesday. The Unified Badminton competition inaugural function was graced by Social Welfare Minister Shri Subhash Phal Dessai. Fisheries and animal husbandry minister Shri Nilkanth Halarnkar, State Commissioner for persons with Disabilities Shri Guruprasad pawaskar. Over in the International Chess competition, 31 players from the six countries namely Uzbekistan, Krygyz Republic, Sweden, USA, Austria and India will be battling for the top honours. The first of the seven rounds was held today. Sanjay Kavlekar and Amrut Naik are the two Chess players representing the hosts Goa. The tournament will conclude on 13th January 2024. Earlier, Subhash Phal Dessai, Minister for Social Welfare, Archieves & Archacology, River and Navigation, Nilesh Cabral; Magnusson Jorgen, President of International Braille Chess Association; Dr Manish Thool, General Secretary, All India Chess Federation for the blind, graced the inaugural ceremony. The Purple Sports action will become bigger and better on Tueaday. The Wheelchair cricket, unified badminton and visually impaired chess events will see stronger tussle tomorrow. Moreover, four new events – unified football, unified beach Volleyball, national lawn tennis for visually impaired and Boccia sports disciplines will further elevate the sports involvement at the Purple Fest to an higher level. The International Purple Fest, Goa 2024, promises a week filled with excitement, competition, and the celebration of the indomitable spirit of visually impaired athletes.

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