For people with physical disabilities such as Dwarfism or any disabilities, it is likewise important to be active physically and in general to enhance their mental and physical health. Physical activities such as sports always has a positive effect on an individuals physical and mental health as well as in boosting their self-esteem, confidence, and overall satisfaction in life.
A person with disability should have a positive approach in life to attain success even amidst adversities and challenges they face. We as humans should always look at people who constantly inspire us through their life experiences and overall journey. One such case is of Siddhesh Deepak Shirke.
Siddhesh Shirke is a Handicapped player from India who has a story about his grit and determination overpowering his disabilities and taking a path towards attaining success through sheer hard work.
Siddhesh was diagnosed with proportionate dwarfism, in which his overall body growth and development was limited since his childhood. He was also diagnosed with a disability in his left leg that faltered his walking ability to a certain extent. He stays with his parents in Raigad district of Maharashtra. He comes from a humble background, with his father working as a laborer and his mother being a housewife.
Siddhesh’s life goal has always been to provide his parents and himself a better and a luxurious life. For that he has always been working rigorously to be successful and the sole provider to his family. He always made sure that his physical disabilities never stopped him from achieving his goals and for that he believes in never underestimating his potentials.
Since childhood, he loved playing cricket as a sport and a few years later in 2017 he was selected as a Batsman in the Raigad’s Handicapped Cricket team. This was the moment when Siddhesh felt he had the potential to make it big someday. His first milestone set a precedent to the things that were to be followed. He realized he could focus on being an athlete and could take up any sport if he was physically fit and healthy. He began working out and focused completely on making a transformation that would turn him into a complete athlete.
In the next 2 years his patience and hard work grabbed him a place in the Maharashtra Premier League of Cricket, where he was selected amongst the top 124 players from the state of Maharashtra. Siddhesh is also an excellent Para Badminton player and has been practicing this sport since many years.
By now Siddhesh was on the right track towards making a name in the para sports field, his destiny changed at the moment when he met his mentor and Coach, Rajan Sir. Mr. Rajan, a successful mentor introduced him to the renowned international Indian Paralympic champion Mark Dharmai. The meeting with Mark Dharmai was at the Mumbai Tata Marathon 2020, where Siddhesh was informed about the state level athletics event that was to be held in February 2020 and about the National Para Badminton tournament in March. With motivation from his idol and mentor, Mark Dharmai, he began practicing for both the events.
The state level athletics competition started in the month in February 2020, Siddhesh participated in this event and earned a silver medal in the Short Put. Winning at a State Championship further increased his confidence, and he felt a sense of accomplishment for the very first time. There was nothing that was halting Siddhesh’s dreams, and he started believing that the more efforts one puts, the more he earns.
He began preparing for the next level, the National Sports events. He began his same routine of workout and practice for the selection trials for National Para Badminton tournament.
Later to the high level of benchmark he had set for himself, Siddhesh got selected for the National Para Badminton Championships under the SH6 category from the Paralympic Sports Association Maharashtra and made all his supporters proud.
The competition was to be held from 19 March 2020 to 22 March 2020 in Odisha (Bhubaneswar). Despite the competition being postponed due the Covid Pandemic Siddhesh has not lost hope and is waiting to perform par excellence in the same event and be triumphant by winning the tournament.
Siddhesh’s life motto is, “When someone looks down upon you, you do not waste your time in looking back at such people. Instead, you prove to the world that your disabilities make you an able person if you work hard and stop complaining.”