Bhandari named Para-Athlete of the Year Award

Kathmandu, July 21

Sita Bhandari was named the best Para-Athlete of the Year at the Pulsar sports Award 2072 here at the Nepal Academy Hall today.

The 28-year-old Bhandari, who hails from Murkhu VDC of Dolakha district, was honoured with the award for her outstanding performance in para-taekwondo. She won bronze medal in the IWAS World Games 2015 in Russia. She has already added another medal to her kitty when she finished third in the second Asian Para Taekwondo Championship in Manila.

Bhandari lost her left hand to burn injuries while playing near a fire place at the age of six, while her mother died three years later.

She then lost her father at the age of 14.

Life was not easy for disabled Bhandari in Dolakha and she came to Kathmandu for studies. After completing the SLC, she moved towards sports. She played table tennis for six months and switched to football after the sport did not suit her. She was training at the Dasharath Stadium and coach Tek Bahadur Gurung advised her to play para-athletics.

She participated in her maiden international tournament in 2014 Asian Para Games in South Korea and that motivated her to continue in sports. She started training regularly and one day taekwondo coach Kalyan Kunwar asked her to try in para-taekwondo. She switched the sport for the third and may be the last time. “I enjoy playing taekwondo although it is not easy for the players like us,” said Bhandari. “I urge concerned authorities to provide us with friendly environment to practice,” she added. “And this award has motivated me to do better in the days to come.” Joint-secretary at Youth and Sports Ministry Chudamani Paudel and Nepal Tourism Board CEO Deepak Raj Joshi handed over the trophy to Bhandari.