New Delhi: Multiple-medal winner para-athlete, Devika Malik has been selected as one of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award winners from across all the Commonwealth Nations. The 24-year-old has received this award for the efforts made by the Wheeling Happiness foundation to build a more inclusive society for persons with physical, emotional and social challenges in India.
“I want to take my passion for Social Inclusion through sport and gain further academic and professional knowledge by pursuing a PhD in the field,” said Devika, who is the current Asian Representative of Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace Working Group under the Commonwealth Secretariat. I firmly believe that India needs trained mental health professionals in the field of para–sports, to help the para–athletes as well as coaches achieve their full potential and progress in the international competitive arena.”
The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, in partnership with Comic Relief and The Royal Commonwealth Society has established the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme in honour of Her Majesty’s long and continued service to the Commonwealth. Each award winner will receive their Queen’s Young Leader Award from Her Majesty at the Buckingham Palace on June 22. Devika won a silver medal at the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Tunisia (Jun 16 –18, 2014), participated in the second China Open Athletics Championships (April 11th–17th, 2014) in T–37 category. She also won a silver at National Paralympic Games 2015 in athletics, besides winning three gold medals at the National Paralympic Games 2013 and clinching two gold medals at the National Paralympic Games 2012. She also won a silver medal at the National Paralympic Games 2010. Devika had represented India at Olympic Truce Trainers Workshop at Jordan from May 8 to 11 last year, organised for upholding the Truce at Rio Olympics 2016. She also represented the country at 8th Youth Leadership Program in Tokyo from Jan 20-30.