JAMSHEDPUR: The 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games has once again appointed Avtar Singh as a technical official for cycling.
The World Summer Games is scheduled in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, from March 14 to 21 and is a multi-sport event for athletes with intellectual disabilities in the tradition of the Special Olympics movement.
Avtar Singh is a sportsman of international repute. Some of his achievements include winning National Cycling championship 7 times and improving Indian record during Commonwealth games in 1978 at Edmonton, Canada. He is a Science graduate. While working with Tata Motors and later with Tata – Hitachi he always had a desire to come back to sports. He has completed his diploma in coaching from Sports Authority of India and has been associated with Special Olympics for past 32 years on honorary basis in addition to serving Special Olympics Bharat as regional trainer for Asia Pacific countries.
In addition to these accomplishments, Avtar Singh founded the NGO Jeevika in 2008 with the primary objective to transform intellectually challenged children into self-reliant individuals by providing them income generating skills and education.
The 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games will be the third time Avtar Singh has been assigned the duty of a technical official. He has acted in similar capacities during the World Summer Games in Shanghai, China (2007) and Los Angeles (2015).
The role of a technical officer involves briefing coaches about how to conduct the events and handle special cyclists.
“I thank Special Olympics International for reposing faith in me once again. My job in Abu Dhabi will be to guide cycling coaches and brief them about the technicalities of the sport,” stated Avtar Singh.
Interestingly, Avtar Singh who has been isolated by Special Olympics Jharkhand for pointing a finger at the alleged mistreatment of special athletes, is still being recognised by Special Olympics International.
“I raised my voice after a special athlete Md Azharuddin died while travelling to Jamshedpur on train. He represented Jharkhand in the Special Olympics National Powerlifting Championship held at Patiala in 2014. Azharuddin died due to extreme heat in the sleeper compartment of the train,” Avtar Singh recalled.
The mentor was subsequently forced to resign from Jharkhand Special Olympics in 2014.
“I am happy that I am able to guide our athletes in Jeevika. Moreover, Special Olympics International also believes in me. What more can I want?” said Avtar Singh.
The eastern zone unit of All India Sikh Students Federation commended Avtar Singh on Sunday for his new role in Abu Dhabi Games.