Hyderabad: Having covered more than 2500km distance so far on their bicycles with a mission to raise awareness about para sports, India’s first international medal winning para cyclist Aditya Mehta alongside members of country’s para cycling team and other amateur cyclists began the final leg of Infinity Ride 2020 here in Hyderabad on Sunday.
Riding from Kashmir to Kanyakumari as part of sixth edition of Infinity Ride, a brainchild of Aditya Mehta Foundation, aims to create awareness about para sports and scout para talent across the country to train and nurture them to win medals for India at the global stage.
Telangana state Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, flagged off the final leg of the ride from Hyderabad to Kanyakumari.
“I must appreciate the Aditya Mehta Foundation for their work. This is the first function I’m attending amid this pandemic and I wanted to attend it to support specially-abled people and today I’m here as their strong supporter. I’m really happy with the arrangements and set up in the Academy [Infinity Para Sports Academy and Rehabilitation Centre] to train these children and people. People with super ability only want our support, they are more confident than us,” said the Governor
Starting from Hyderabad, the final leg of the Infinity Ride 2020 will see cyclists riding the remaining 1279km distance through Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu before concluding a 36-city and 45-day journey in Kanyakumari on December 31. The riders reached Hyderabad after starting from Kashmir on November 19.
A day before, the riders also visited Asia’s first-ever Infinity Para Sports Academy and Rehabilitation Centre in the city for a quick rehabilitation and prosthetic check. The Academy, spread over a 5000 square yards of land and developed by AMF is equipped with modern and world class facilities.
“The para sporting talent which we are scouting during the ongoing Infinity Ride will be trained professionally at the Infinity Para Sports Academy and Rehabilitation Centre. Currently 40 para sports athletes have been training at the academy said AMF Founder Aditya Mehta.
Top Telugu film stars like Regina Cassandra, Lakshmi Manchu, Shilpa Reddy and Shobu Yarlagadda—producer of popular movie Bahubali, also participated in flagging off the riders and joined the cause.
While actor Regina Cassandra, who accompanied riders from Hyderabad to Mahbubnagar cycled 104km distance, said: “I have been associated with the foundation and Infinity Ride since it’s inception. Am really impressed and motivated with the level of dedication each one of them has shown in these difficult circumstances while riding such distances. I think creating awareness about para sports is very important as much as supporting them”.
With world class and modern infrastructure and facilities, Infinity Para Sports Academy and Rehabilitation Centre has the ability to churn future heroes who can win medals at the Paralympics 2024 and 2028.