MP Paralympic Swimmer Satendra Singh Ready to Swim English Channel
Thirty-year-old paralympic swimmer Satendra Singh is all set to become the first para-swimmer from Madhya Pradesh (MP) to swim the English Channel sometime in June-July.
File photo of Vikram awardee Paralympic swimmer Satendra Singh. (Photo credits: Teiwtter.com/Satendra Singh)
Bhopal: Thirty-year-old paralympic swimmer Satendra Singh is all set to become the first para-swimmer from Madhya Pradesh (MP) to swim the English Channel sometime in June-July.
Life hasn't been easy for the wheelchair-bound swimmer from the city of Gwalior who suffered from disability in both legs due to improper medical care.
However, the champion swimmer didn't lose hope and left his imprint on swimming without any assistance from the state government. Satendra, son of a security guard, is the eldest of three brothers.
In 2010, when French quadruple amputee Filippe Croizon swam across the English channel, Satendra felt motivated. Croizon became an inspiration for the world, and Satendra was one of his many admirers. However, Satendra's first request was turned down by the Channel Association owing to his inexperience.
Satendra, then, participated in Indian Navy’s 6 km open swimming championship and Malwan (Maharashtra) open swimming championship. This participation helped him get his application approved by the Channel Association. The 36-km channel links England and France and the temperature remains 10 to 15 degrees.
Besides 19 medals in domestic events, Satendra had won a gold medal in Men’s Open 50 m backstroke at NSW2017 state open championship in Sydney. He had bagged two silvers and one bronze at Can Em International Para-Swimming Championship at Ottawa, Canada last July.
Early May, he had covered 33km distance from Prongs Reef Light House to Colaba in Mumbai in five hours and 43 minutes. Prior to this, he had urged authorities in Bhopal to let him show his swimming prowess at Upper Lake but was snubbed.
Whatever little he earns as a clerk with Commercial Tax Department in Indore, Satendra invests in his practice. “State government does not do anything for para-athletes who require support more than anyone else,” he told News18. “Obstacles did come my way, but I took them as inspiration to do better.”
Currently eyeing Para Games in Jakarta in 2018 and 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, Satendra expresses gratitude towards Indore collector P Narahari who helped him realise his English Channel dream.
The Vikram awardee is training hard at the pool of Laxmibai National University of Physical Education in Gwalior. Satendra is also seeking funds for his English channel expedition, he will leave on June 3, 2017.