With the Salwan cross-country run around the corner, volunteers, a key feature in the success of the event for visually-impaired and intellectually-challenged students, are gearing up for another exciting experience.
HT caught up with fitness freak Sushil Karer who has been part and parcel of the competition since its beginning. Training handicapped students, said the 47-year-old, made him believe that odds are no deterrent in achieving excellence in all spheres of life, particularly sports. "The students (visual impaired) are always eager to run more and train harder. We often ask them to hold back!" said Karer who is an architect by profession.
Though the students do partake in physical activities at their school campus, Karer said that real training generally began four weeks prior to the main competition.
The key is to make the students learn how to run with a partner (a volunteer holds the student's hand over a distance of 3-4 km.
"The first week of training is devoted to continuous slow jogging. Time and not distance is the main factor in training," he said.
The second and third weeks sees students go the distance before cutting it down in the final week before the race. "It quite challenging, but it's done in a playful manner."