Resident of Institute of Mental Health excels as an athlete 

March 19, 2023 09:49 am | Updated 09:49 am IST

The Institute of Mental Health in Kilpauk is taking great pride in how it identifies sports talent among its residents. Recently, a circular sent to the various departments in the hospital celebrated the achievement of its resident Venkatesan.

The note by the director read: “I am happy to inform you that for the first time in the history of our Institute of Mental Health, an athlete from our midst, Mr Venkatesan, 32, male, Halfway Home, is participating in the 22nd National Paraathletic Championship in Pune from March 16 to 21.”

Venkatesan was brought to the Institute at the age of 15 and is now with Halfway Home, which serves as a transit home before a resident moves to his own house, says Dr J Sangeetha, additional resident medical officer, IMH.

Venkatesan was selected for long jump based on his performance at the State Level Para Athletic Championship where he won six medals. Since then, Venkatesan has been getting special training from the sports team at the Institute.

The note also says coach Jothi Manikandan, is participating in paracycling, and staff nurse Jayalakshmi is accompanying them.

IMH started exploring sports as a development tool for those with intellectual challenges last year and seems to have covered some ground in this effort. Every achievement of its residents will go a long way towards motivating many others to take up sports.

The Hindu Downtown had carried a feature in 2022 on the achievement of some of the residents at the district- and state-level meets — the first time they were taking part in competitive sports outside the campus.

Jothi Manikandan — employed as an accountant on contract basis at IMH, and a participant in the paracycling event at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation World Games — continues to train the residents. “Last year, 77 medals were won by our residents from various para sports meets including marathons,” says Dr Sangeetha.

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