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    TN to host Paralympic Swimming Championship

    CHENNAI: Underlining the need for increased representation from the Southern States, winners of the 11th National Paralympic Swimming Championship 2011 have urged more differently-abled youngsters to represent the state in the junior and sub-junior levels.Addressing a press conference organised by the Paralympic Swimming Association of Tamil Nadu here on Sunday, Madhavi Latha, a first time participant who clinched three gold medals in the 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke and 50m breast stroke, also winning the individual championship under the S1(Severely Disabled) category, said while there were only four representatives from the state at the event that was held in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, from December 9 to 12, there were nearly 60 participants from Maharashtra, a 50 from West Bengal and substantial representation from other parts of North India.Sharing her success story, 55-year-old Uthira Ramachandran, another first timer who won a silver medal in the 50m freestyle category, also highlighted the need for awareness on the benefits of hydrotherapy, which is used for rehabilitation and recreation, enabling them to emerge triumphant.She said that the differently-abled needed to realise that it was possible for them to exercise in water and prove their mettle in sports through hydrotherapy, which helped them in learning new movements inside the water. Parents should also encourage their children to overcome their apprehensions about their disability and excel in sports, added Madhavi. Ă˘Â€ÂśWhen I am in the water, it is world of enjoyment and freedom. I can move  about freely,” asserted Madhavi, who works as a senior manager at Standard Chartered Scope International Pvt Ltd.Speaking on the occasion, Technical Director Dr C Anand Jyothi announced that the association would soon be setting up its own academy for the differently-abled to promote adaptive sports. The 2012 edition of National Paralympic Swimming Championships would be hosted by the State in December, he informed.Four representatives from the State participated in the National Paralympic Swimming Championship, including P Venkatesan, who won a gold medal in the 50m breast stroke category, three silver medals in 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke  and also the individual championship under the S1 category for men, and 50m butterfly and Jyothi. Overall, they bagged eight medals for the state.