Image Credits: @AMF
Four Kashmiri Cyclists rides in support of para sports and Infinity Ride
Spearheaded by India’s first para cyclist and Limca Book of Records holder Aditya Mehta, country’s top para cyclists began their ride from Kashmir to Kanyakumari as part of the “Infinity Ride 2020”—a ride that aims to raise awareness and reach out to para talents across the country.
The ride, a brain child of the Aditya Mehta Foundation (AMF) and supported by Border Security Force (BSF), who have believed in the cause since its initiations, flagged from Dal Lake, Srinagar on Thursday. Shri Rakesh Asthana, IPS, Director General BSF, flagged off the ride. Four national-level cyclists from Kashmir, Mushtaq Ahmad, Hilal Ahmad, Hashim Nani and Arif Ahmad also joined the ride to support the cause. The Infinity Ride will go through six districts of Kashmir before entering Jammu on Day 2 on Friday and reaching Punjab on November 21.
The 2020 edition will be covering 34 cities in 41 days. The Infinity ride, which is in its sixth year, will be led by BSF Jawans Asian Para Cycling Championship bronze medallist Harinder Singh and Asian Games Track Cycling bronze medallist Gurlal Singh. They are not only taking part but also leading the team through a 3801 km long route comprising treacherous mountain terrains as they embark on this strenuous and challenging journey. The journey will end at Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari on December 29.
Aditya Mehta (second from Left) along with Para Cyclists who represent India during the innauguration of the Infinity Rode 2020 in Srinagar. The team will ride a distence of 3801 KM over a span of 41 days
“I had ridden this route alone seven years back when no one thought it was possible for a person like me to come here and seven years later when I see so many riders alongside me, I believe if one can infuse the spirit of challenging to attempt the unthinkable, everything is possible. At a time like this when the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected the mental and physical fitness of most of us, I hope Infinity Ride 2020 will bear the message of not giving up and the importance of Fit India Movement across the country especially among the para aspirants,” Aditya Mehta, founder of Aditya Mehta Foundation said.
The Infinity Ride aims to discover budding para sporting talent across the country and nurture and prepare them to compete at the highest levels and represent India at the global stage. The Aditya Mehta Foundation has been relentlessly working with people with disability since its inception in 2013 and now powered with Asia’s first Infinity Para Sports Academy and Rehabilitation centre which was established last year in Hyderabad. AMF envisions to scout and train these talents from grassroots and produce innumerable champions backed with the world class facility needed for para sport persons to excel in various sports.
“India has no dearth of talent. My goal is to scout young talents and train them with the right training and facilities that is needed to become a competitive para athlete with world class abilities. We are hopeful that Infinity Ride 2020 will ensure the required awareness among people and we will be able get many aspirant sports persons who we can work with and make future ready,” Mehta added.
The foundation has 200 beneficiaries who have been given prosthetic limbs and customised adaptive devised for sports activities so far. The AMF backed athletes have also won 90 international medals so far in various para sports and tournaments. The foundation also has successfully touched the lives of more than 1000 injured jawans and civilians, who have not only been rehabilitated but also motivated to excel as Indian athletes to win laurels for the country.