If distance were an obstacle for differently-abled athlete Joby Mathew, he would never have travelled 12 hours on his altered scooter to Chennai from Kochi to participate in the National Open Badminton Tournament organised by the Rotary Club of Chennai .
However, the 12-hour drive, defying the scorching sun and potholes, did not diminish his enthusiasm or his competence. As he was late, Joby was only able to participate in the doubles category, but he won a gold in the event.
“Riding about 830 km was an adventure. I got to know about the event very late. There were no flights or train tickets available. So I decided to make the trip on my altered scooter,’’ he says. Joby Mathew is preparing for two world championships, both to be held in the same week and in different continents.
“I don’t care about the distance or the other impossibilities. I just want to participate in as many events as I can and win medals,’’ says Joby. He will be participating in the World Arm Wrestling Championship to be held in Kazakhsthan as well as the World Badminton Championship for the differently-abled at Guatemala.
“There will be a great deal of strain as both are world championships. Anyhow I have qualified for both,’’ says Joby, who is 3’5” tall and has severely under-developed legs, a condition caused by a rare disease called Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency (PFFD).
However, Joby has been focusing on the London Paralympics 2012, since he was selected. Until now, he is the only player to be selected from the State for the event. “I am participating in swimming and wheelchair fencing. I have been training for the past few months to improve my performance,’’ the Bharat Petroleum employee said.
Joby has also won 10 national golds in five different categories this season. “This season was exceptional and the training is going on fine,’’ he says. Ask him what the driving factor behind him is, and he replies, “I believe that sports is in my blood. I have a sporty physique except for my legs and have an interest for every sport I compete in.’’
However, the athlete is disappointed about the government’s stance of not promoting paralympic events in the State. “We conducted a State meet for the first time. The only limitation is the lack of government’s support for the differently-abled,” he says.
resource : http://www.asianage.com/other-sports/nothing-impossible-joby-mathew-125